Belfast Telegraph

Rafael Benitez warns Newcastle he cannot keep performing ‘miracles’

Spaniard happy to work with “realistic” Premier League budget.

Rafael Benitez has warned Mike Ashley he cannot perform “miracles” every year after keeping Newcastle in the Premier League.

The Spaniard has been disappointed by the club’s relative lack of investment in the playing staff in the two transfer windows since he guided them back into the top flight, and has warned owner Ashley that while he is happy to develop young players, they need experience and quality around them.

Benitez has a year remaining on his existing contract and the Magpies are keen to tie him up in a longer deal, although a failed takeover attempt in January and speculation over a fresh approach have further muddied the waters.

However, the 58-year-old has made no secret of what is required if he is to have a long-term future on Tyneside.

He said: “I cannot do miracles every year, so then you have to have the tools to be sure that you can do your job.

“I like to win, I want to win games and I want to win trophies. I want to be capable of competing and if you want to compete in the Premier League or this market, then you have to compete in everything. Then if you have the tools to compete, you can win.

“I’d like to do that and at the same time, I like to improve players, coach players, follow a business plan, a realistic business plan in modern football. I have no problem with that because I did it in the past.”

Benitez will mark 100 games in his current job at Everton on Monday evening confident that he has got the club moving in the right direction once again.

They have won their last four games and a fifth straight victory at Goodison Park would see them leapfrog the Toffees, who finished seventh last season, and further increase his belief that they can compete in the upper reaches of the table with the right investment.

Benitez said: “I thought that when we came here. We couldn’t save the team (from relegation), but to win the Championship, to change the mood and to change a lot of players, I think was a bigger step forward.

“And to stay in the Premier League is an even bigger step forward towards reaching the potential of this massive club. We are going in the right direction, then we have to carry on in the same direction.”

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