Premier League: Newcastle United must make significant changes to compete at a higher level, says Rafa Benitez

Newcastle United must effect significant changes and establish a clear structure for progress off the pitch to improve their on-field performances and compete at a higher level, manager Rafa Benitez has said.

The Spaniard took charge of Newcastle in 2016 and helped them earn promotion from the Championship (second tier) last season but the club’s inconsistency in the Premier League leaves them four points above 18th-placed Southampton after 30 matches.

File image of Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez. Reuters

File image of Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez. Reuters

Newcastle’s troubles have been blamed on poor transfer dealings with owner Mike Ashley being criticised for not providing adequate funds for Benitez’s recruitment plans.

“We have to change things,” Benitez told the Times. “I came here with the idea to compete and to create a strong team and a strong club, to compete every year. What we have to do if we stay up is improve...

“When I said I wanted to stay I could see the potential for this club to be in the top 10 or even higher, but it depends on consistency. You have to have a structure. Everybody has to be organised.

“... To compete and be capable of winning something, you need to have the plan and the process. Everything has to be... settled down, that’s not the right phrase, but more clear.”

A potential takeover also adds to the uncertainty surrounding the club.

Benitez is loved by Newcastle fans for guiding the team’s meteoric rise and choosing to stay on as their boss but the Spaniard says that the support comes with its own burden.

“When you know the fans are against you, it’s not the same passion,” Benitez added. “When they support me in the way they’re supporting me here, you feel this responsibility. I am really proud of that...

“Everybody expects me to be right every time. I’m not, but I try to do my best, to make sure I make less mistakes, to be sure this team will stay up.

“I sleep, but I feel this support and I feel this responsibility. Not just for the games and the performances, but every decision.”

Newcastle host 15th-placed Huddersfield Town in the league on 31 March.

Updated Date: Mar 20, 2018 15:10 PM

Also Watch

Watch: Firstpost test rides the new Thunderbird 500X in Goa and walks you through the Royal Enfield Garage Cafe
  • Tuesday, April 17, 2018 Varun Dhawan on Shoojit Sircar's October, 5-star reviews and working with Anushka Sharma in Sui Dhaaga
  • Saturday, April 14, 2018 Ambedkar Jayanti: Re-visiting Babasaheb's ideals exposes fake Dalit politics of Rahul Gandhi and Congress
  • Monday, April 9, 2018 48 hours with Huawei P20 Pro: Triple camera offering is set to redefine smartphone imaging
  • Monday, April 16, 2018 Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore interview: Sports can't be anyone's fiefdom, we need an ecosystem to nurture raw talent

Also See