After confirmation that Mike Ashley paid Rafa Benitez a rare post-match visit following Saturday’s defeat to Brighton, Lee Ryder has revealed that the NUFC owner is now prepared to give the Spaniard more time to turn things around on Tyneside.
The story states that this is the first time Ashley has spoken to Benitez after a game since we lifted the Championship title in 2017, with this also coming just weeks after the ‘dinner date’ – seeing Ashley meet with Benitez and the entire NUFC squad over pizza.
Here’s that Ryder’s had to say in his latest piece for The Chronicle, suggesting he’s given Rafa some assurances and that it’s ‘business as usual’ despite our fifth straight defeat at St James’ Park:
“It will be business as usual for Rafa Benitez at Newcastle United this week – despite a rare post-game visit from Mike Ashley after the loss to Brighton.
“As it stands, it appears that Ashley is prepared to give Benitez more time to turn the situation around at United.
“There will be no knee-jerk reaction after the run of defeats continued.
“In fact, Benitez held a training session on Sunday morning at Benton and has started work on trying to fix things ahead of the trip to Southampton immediately.”
It’s ironic really as Rafa has every right to be the one deciding whether he’ll spend more time at the club or not, however recent results has inevitably meant that the pressure is increasing – with us now bottom of the league after nine games.
Assurances over January spending would’ve been nice, but I don’t expect Ashley to budget unless we’re still in this mess come Christmas.
Either way, he has some BIG decisions to be making over the next few months, with us only heading one way if something doesn’t change.