Former Newcastle United striker Micky Quinn has claimed he knows ‘for a fact’ that manager Rafa Benitez believes he can lead the club to European football next season.
Benitez led the Magpies to an impressive tenth-place finish in their first season back in the Premier League following a year in the Championship, and has made his lofty ambitions known.
The question now is whether the Spaniard will be backed by owner Mike Ashley this summer, with negotiations set to take place between the two parties, and Quinn has now revealed the extent of Benitez’s ambitions.
In a column for the Chronicle, Quinn said: “Rafa doesn’t want to be fighting relegation again next season. He doesn’t even want to be securing 10th place on the final day of the campaign either, no matter how great an achievement that was this term. This is a world-class manager we are talking about – and a born winner. He is ambitious, and he believes in himself and this club.
“I know for a fact that Rafa thinks he can take Newcastle back into Europe and also finally be the man who delivers silverware to a club who haven’t lifted a trophy since 1969, and haven’t won a domestic cup since 1955.
“He isn’t interested in just making up the numbers. He wants to be given the resources to make Newcastle a competitive force.”
Benitez has really showed this season that the possibilities are endless for Newcastle if he stays at the club. The Spaniard has led a squad made up of mainly Championship players to a top half finish in the top-flight, and that is no mean feat. His work in the January transfer window was absolutely essential, and this summer will be no different. He needs to be backed, and there is no excuse for owner Ashley after such a successful season. Ashley has said that Benitez will get every penny available to spend, but this is not something that the Toon Army haven’t heard before. Actions speak louder than words, and Ashley needs to put his money where his mouth is this summer. If he does, then Benitez could easily lead this club to a European place next term, with Burnley managing the feat this time round. If he does not, then Benitez may pack his bags, and that would be an unmitigated disaster for the club.