Ayoze Perez has claimed that Newcastle United keeping hold of Rafael Benitez could have a major impact on their chances of returning to the Premier League at the first time of asking, the Chronicle reports.
The Magpies were relegated from the Premier League ahead of the final day of this past campaign, but the reception that the Spaniard received in their game against Tottenham proved that Tyneside is united in hoping that the former Real Madrid boss stays at St James' Park.
And Perez confirmed that the players feel just as confident that Benitez can lead them to brighter times despite the difficult season.
"After the relegation, it would have been normal for everyone to be very down," he told the Chronicle.
"But what I saw from the fans was amazing. We have to use that.
"We have to be together and think about getting back as soon as possible, and keeping the manager would be a big part of that.
"We all want it to happen."
While Benitez was unable to save Newcastle, the work that he did during his brief time in charge gave them a much greater chance of survival than they surely would have had had Steve McClaren been kept on as head coach.
The six-game unbeaten run with which they ended the campaign - including the 5-1 victory over Spurs - highlighted what Benitez could do for them in a short space of time, so it is unsurprising that the likes of Perez and others who are desperate for him to stay believe that he could be the key to getting the club back towards the top.