Benitez hails Newcastle fans

Rafa Benitez

The Spaniard has gushed over the Magpies' fanbase.

Speaking to the club's official website, Newcastle United boss Rafael Benitez has paid tribute to the fans revealed they were part of the reason why he joined the club.

Benitez has failed in his efforts to steer the Magpies to Premier League safety, with Sunderland's 3-0 win over Everton in midweek condemning them to life in the Championship next term.

The 56-year-old did not have a great deal of time in which to save the club from relegation, having only replaced Steve McClaren in late March, but a 0-0 draw away to Aston Villa last weekend arguably sealed their fate.

Nevertheless, Newcastle supporters are desperate to see the Spaniard follow them down into the Championship, though it remains to be seen if the Champions League-winning manager would take on such a task.

They host Spurs this afternoon in an end-of-season clash which is expected to see thousands of Newcastle supporters show how important he is to them in a bid to convince him to stay, and Benitez certainly acknowledges how passionate the fans are.

"We want to do well for the fans, so we have to be fair in the team selection," he told the club's official website.

"When I decided to come here it was because I knew it was a massive club with massive support from the fans.

"I am really flattered with the fans, they have been amazing."

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