Karl Darlow is desperate for Rafael Benitez to stay at Newcastle United, and believes that the Spaniard sticking around will be crucial to helping the Magpies return to the top flight at the first time of asking, the Chronicle reports.
Despite the former Real Madrid boss being unable to keep the side in the Premier League, the Chronicle reports that Benitez has been in talks with the club about staying and trying to help them fight their way out of the Championship.
And Darlow insisted that it would be a major boost to their chances of promotion if the manager did end up committing his future to the club.
"It meant a lot within the changing room that a manager of that calibre came in to Newcastle United to try to keep us up when he had no reason to come really," he told the Chronicle.
"Keeping hold of him would be a massive coup and we're all really desperate for him to stay.
"If we can keep what we've got [player-wise in the squad], and also keep the manager, then we should be fine [in the Championship]."
Though Benitez was unable to keep Newcastle up, there were enough positives on show during his brief tenure to suggest that over a lengthy period of time, he could leave them in a much higher position than where they were when he took over, even if they have to make a few backward steps before getting to that point.
The 5-1 victory over Tottenham on the final day of the campaign suggested that if the Spaniard is able to make his mark on the squad, he will be able to not only bring them straight back up, but to ensure that relegation scraps in the Premier League are a thing of the past.