Benitez calls for united front at Newcastle

Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez has challenged his players to end the season with the victory over Chelsea he believes they deserve

Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley has reportedly informed Rafael Benitez that he has £80m to spend this summer in an attempt to persuade the Spaniard to stay on for another season.

"The players care, and the manager and staff and everybody".

Chelsea completely capitulate against Newcastle and are faced with numerous questions heading into the summer.

In fact, if the Premier League this season had started in the New Year, Newcastle would be in sixth place, a testament to the ever improving job Benitez is doing.

Ayoze Perez netted twice and Dwight Gayle also found the net as United ended a run of four successive defeats on a "perfect Sunday" for Benitez. "The way that the team was working in the whole season, to be safe with five games to play was fantastic".

"The players know they have to give everything for the fans, and the togetherness has been crucial for everyone this year", said Benitez.

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Chelsea, Tottenham and West Ham have all been linked, but Benitez is hoping to fend off interest.

"It was pretty much a flawless Sunday".

Asked how important it would be to finish with another three points, he said: "I said that today to my players, that it would be important because it would be a pity to do so well during the season and then go to the end (and not win), especially as we play at home". We want to compete and with the right quality and at the right level.

"This group of players have done so well, so it would be easy to say, "Okay, well you are already in the top ten".

"We have to understand that when you talk about players in the same position. we can say "Merino is really good, better than Shelvey", but if we've had words about that, it means something is right, because both are good players".

While he was unable to pull off the impossible in saving Newcastle from relegation in the 2015/16 Premier League campaign, Benitez took Newcastle up again from the Championship the very next year, as champions no less. The potential is there.

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