Last night Newcastle United fans had a night in the Nine bar with Rafa Benitez, as Mick Lowes conducted a Q and A with the NUFC boss – who opened up to his adoring fans about the transfer window, his summer frustrations and his future at the club.
Rafa Benitez as he enters Nine for the first in the series of 125 @ NINE events! ?? pic.twitter.com/X9gkCA06oj
— NINE Sports Bar (@ninesportsbar) July 27, 2017
Benitez on the transfer window:
“The transfer window is too long, we wanted to do business early, we finished in May, I had my targets straight away. I know the frustrations of fans, sometimes it’s not our fault, it’s the agents, the family, the mother and the father of the player.”
“We have to realise where we are, we’re a big club, but we have to be careful, passion goes against the team, you still have to support. How many players can you buy now for £17M? We’re not doing exactly what we want to do, because we cannot, the market is crazy.”
Benitez on his frustrations and future at NUFC:
“To stay in the Premier League in a city where they love the club is crucial, because for me I could be learning Chinese.”
“I wasn’t happy at the start of this window, I’m happy now, you have to analyse things properly, we weren’t doing things the way I wanted.”
“My commitment now is 100% I had massive offers with China, we need to try our best, I had conversations with Lee (Charnley). Now we are signing players who are happy to come here, maybe we improve players, if you can understand that – we are fine.”
Benitez then went on to discuss the season ahead, also pleading with the fans to stick together ahead of the challenges to come:
Benitez on the season ahead:
“If we are trying to avoid relegation we have to make sure we’re stronger, then maybe we go higher and higher.
“You can feel passion of the fans, you want to win for them, I like to win, I’m a bad loser, it’s a challenge for me. My commitment is to be sure I’ll give everything to improve the team, I need the same from every player and fan.
“Where we are now is where we want to be, if I sign bad players, blame me at the end of the season.
“The first 6 games every year is the same, how important etc etc, the answers are the same, if everyone is right, then it’s all ok.
“We have to stay calm, if we win the first 3 games we will not win the league. Last year I was saying we’ll be strong at the end of the season, imagine we have to go to the end, we have to be strong”
“Normally I don’t show my emotions, (sic) but for me, the fans, the city, it’s black and white – let’s stick together. We have to follow and support the team. If they’re not doing well, criticise, but not during game – after.”
His final message was key – ‘let’s stick together’. It’s not the first time he has said this and won’t be the last. ‘We must support the team’.
A great man, a great manager and a great night for the Newcastle United fans who were able to get a ticket.
— Paul Lockyear (@lockyear_paul) July 27, 2017