Newcastle United star Rolando Aarons has admitted to the club's official website that Rafael Benitez gives him "the real truth" every time he speaks with the manager, and outlined his respect for the "top, top manager".
Benitez had a dramatic effect on the Magpies when he took over from Steve McClaren in March, helping them to go six games unbeaten to end the season, although the upturn was too late to save them from relegation.
Nevertheless, the Spaniard's decision to stay at the club in the Championship was widely seen as a huge coup for the Tyneside club, and Aarons certainly subscribes to that view.
The England Under-20 international played a bit-part for the club last season, but revealed his admiration for Benitez after having conversations with the 56-year-old boss in the final weeks of the season.
The 20-year-old told the club's website: "He's a top, top manager and obviously you can tell that from the form we hit when he signed. We were just a little too late, but he's a top manager.
"I'm miserable when I'm not playing, and I've spoken to him a few times and he's just given me the real truth. I spoke to him [before the Spurs game] and he told me what he thought and told me what I need to do and why I'm not in the team, and I've listened to him. He's a top manager and I can learn a lot from him."
Aarons made 10 Premier League appearances last season as he continued his rise to prominence at St. James' Park, but only two of those came under Benitez, although he did score his only goal of the campaign after being brought on as a substitute in the final-day 5-1 thrashing of Tottenham Hotspur.
The man who can play at both left-back and on the left side of midfield admitted that he is hoping to play a bigger role for the side in the Championship next season and targeted getting involved on the attacking front on a regular basis.
He added: "Hopefully I'll come back and get more of an opportunity next season. Every pre-season is a big pre-season, because you've got to show the manager what you can do, and next season is no different.
"Play games, score goals - that's what I love doing, getting assists and scoring goals. That's what I'm about, and what I'd like to build my profile around."