Now promotion has been banked, Alan Shearer says this is now when the hard work starts.
First of all the club (Mike Ashley!) has to make sure that they keep hold of Rafa Benitez and convince him that the club is ambitious.
Then secondly, the bottom line is that you can’t stay loyal to all the players who won promotion according to the legendary number nine.
Alan Shearer states that Rafa will ‘go in and ask for funds to massively improve the team’, something which every other Newcastle fan will agree is essential.
To achieve that, the United boss will need a ‘few quid’ and obviously that can’t be too few…
Just so long as there are no problems when dealing with Ashley, all the other boxes appear to be ticked.
Alan Shearer declaring that having spoken to Rafa Benitez, he knows for sure that the Manager loves his players and the passion of the Newcastle fans.
Rafa saw that this was a long-term project where he could make a real go of success, phase one has been accomplished and now he just needs the ammunition to now move onto the next stage of operation Newcastle United.
Alan Shearer speaking to Radio Five Live:
“Rafa Benitez is hugely important, he is a huge figure at the football club – he loves the place.
“He loves the players – I know, having spoken to him.
“He loves the passion of the fans here.
“So it is hugely important we keep hold of Rafa Benitez and his backroom staff.
“He is very very experienced and has done the job he set out to do.
“I’m sure he will demand that the team has to be improved and demand a ‘few quid’ to do that.
“That is what we are all hoping now because that is what you have to do – you can’t stand still for anyone.
“You can’t be loyal and give all the players a chance that have got the team promoted – you have got to go out and buy new players.
“I’m sure Rafa will go in and ask for funds to massively improve the team.
“I think people will realise that the team will need improving to get to the place where they eventually want to get, which has to be top half of the Premier League.”
Stats from BBC Sport:
Newcastle 4 Preston 1
Newcastle: Perez 7, 67 Atsu 45, Ritchie 65
Preston: Hugill 14 (Gallagher red card 64)
Possession was Preston 32% Newcastle 68%
Total shots were Preston 6 Newcastle 22
Shots on target were Preston 2 Newcastle 7
Corners were Preston 1 Newcastle 16
Referee: Anthony Madley
Elliot, Anita, Lascelles, Clark, Dummett, Ritchie, Shelvey (Colback 76), Hayden, Atsu (Gouffran 68), Perez (Murphy 83), Mitrovic
Darlow, Yedlin, Mbemba, Diame
Crowd: 50,212 (Preston 500)
(To read instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to win over Preston and promotion go HERE)
(To view our interactive Newcastle v Preston player ratings and to add your own go HERE)
(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, send articles (as well as ideas/suggestions) to [email protected])