Get Rafa to stay on and we can get bet­ter and bet­ter


The Chronicle - - Nufc - By LEE RY­DER Chief New­cas­tle United Writer lee.ry­der@ncj­me­ @lee_ry­der

DWIGHT Gayle has pleaded with New­cas­tle United’s hi­er­ar­chy to strike a deal to get Rafa Ben­itez to stay on as man­ager at St James’ Park.

Al­most three weeks have gone by since the fi­nal game of the sea­son and de­spite Mike Ash­ley task­ing man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Lee Charn­ley to se­cure Ben­itez’s fu­ture, his con­tract is yet to be ex­tended.

Gayle has stated the whole dress­ing room want to see Ben­itez tied down to a newl deal, and be­lieves that each in­di­vid­ual will only get bet­ter if he re­mains on Ty­ne­side.

Gayle said: “All the play­ers want the boss to stay.

“They are so thank­ful for what he has done for the team.

“A lot of the play­ers here have had their ca­reers changed for the bet­ter. He is a great tac­ti­cal man­ager – he has brought in these play­ers for a rea­son. They all get on so well.

“We haven’t had any peo­ple dis­rupt the group and that’s the rea­son we have per­formed so well.”

And dis­cussing the mer­its of Ben­itez on a day-to-day ba­sis, Gayle, speak­ing in the Daily Ex­press, said: “The boss is out on the pitch ev­ery day try­ing to im­prove ev­ery player.

“He is very ap­proach­able. If you want to speak to him about any prob­lems, any­thing you want to im­prove on, what you need to do to get into the team.

“He sees the things I am good at and tries to get play­ers to help me.

“We have play­ers like Jonjo Shelvey, Mo Di­ame and Ay­oze Perez who like to play balls in be­hind, and we work on that and he im­proves my game that way.

“He re­minds me of where I need to be. He wants me to do a lot of de­fen­sive work for the team as well.”

Gayle feels that the cur­rent New­cas­tle team are grow­ing to­gether and that Ben­itez is the per­fect man to help them progress.

He con­tin­ued: “The fact that the play­ers are so young and look­ing to progress works per­fectly for us.

“The fans love Rafa. Ev­ery week you see they have a dif­fer­ent ban­ner for him.

“They have sup­ported him through­out, even when we had a bad run. They were right be­hind him.

“He is thank­ful for that and I am sure he will re­pay them for it.

“Ob­vi­ously the first half of last sea­son wasn’t the best but we fin­ished re­ally well and it was a good end.”

And it would ap­pear that play­ers are in full agree­ment with Ben­itez that he must im­prove the squad in the com­ing months.

The club’s num­ber nine said: “We have to be care­ful.

“The teams that strug­gled last sea­son – Ever­ton, Le­ices­ter, Southamp­ton – they are all big clubs and they all spent big money. “You need too be fo­cused oth­er­wise you could find your­self strug­gling. “We need to strengthen. “It is vi­tal you look to im­prove, but also that you bring in play­ers that are not go­ing to af­fect the squad men­tal­ity and break the team up.” Dwight Gayle was sup­port­ing the fi­nals of the big­gest grass­roots foot­ball com­pe­ti­tion in this coun­try, the PlayS­ta­tion Schools’ Cup Fes­ti­val. Watch the school high­lights at www. plays­ta­tion schools cup. com

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