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

Newcastle United:

Elliot, Anita, Lascelles, Clark, Dummett, Ritchie, Shelvey (Colback 76), Hayden, Atsu (Gouffran 68), Perez (Murphy 83), Mitrovic

Unused Subs:

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])

  • Toon Army AZ

    As usual, Mr. Shearer is right. Hopefully Ashley and Co. will get with the program and keep Rafa by supporting him with funds to upgrade the squad. Otherwise we’ll be scrapping to avoid relegation like the previous few years. No one wants that. Not Ashley, not Rafa, not the players, and most certainly not the supporters.

  • SH.ER

    I have all the faith & belief that we WILL improve the squad & Rafa will do it
    Why bring a manager with his caliber & renew his contract only to just
    not accept his demands? makes no sense…
    Benitez will understand that we don’t have the Premier League Money (yet)
    he will work with a similar Budget to the one he got last summer ( £60m )
    Other teams will improve & will have money but I think even that budget will be just enough for survival & after our first season we can increase & improve …. HTL

    • Jezza

      “Why bring a manager with his caliber & renew his contract only to just
      not accept his demands?”

      To accomplish the one crucial task of getting Ashley’s huge free advertising vehicle for his sports shop business back on the Premiership gravy train. Rafa has now served his purpose and Ashley will be happy to see him go and replace him with some stooge on a quarter of the salary who will be happy to do the job with no transfer money. Step forward Ashley’s old mate Pardew.

  • MediaMook

    Rapt Rafa Benitez got us back up at first time of asking. Now can Ashley change his tune and change the Toon by sanctioning the signing of 4-5 quality proven players for about $100 million in total?

    Or will he revert to “sell before you buy” type before scrambling to pay for less than impressive players in January in a bid to avoid relegation (again)?

    Next few months off field will answer those questions.

    If the “couldn’t get players over the line” excuse is trotted out before kickoff next season it will tell the fans everything they need to know about Ashley’s Newcastle United ambitions – or lack of any – before a ball has been kicked back in the EPL.

  • DubaiExpat

    Rafa wasted no time in sending a not so subtle message to Ashley last night – time will tell whether Mr Ashley has finally learnt his lesson after two expensive trips to the second tier.

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    Ashley cares not about Newcastle & whilst promotion is secured who knows whats in store for the club, i just wish he`d sell up & p1$$ off

    • Geordiegiants

      Don’t we all!

      • S.G.M.

        NO!! Rather have him than some of the clowns that have come in thinking they can make a buck or two, at the fans expense.
        All destroyed.

        • Geordiegiants

          What???? he has destroyed us, and drained our club of all revenue bar SKY money, are you raving bonkers or what?

  • Alreet

    Another window like last summer is needed for me. Theres a min of 6 players id dump tomorrow from goof. Dummy. Colback. Hanley. Selz and murphey.

    We need cover and quality in most areas of the pitch. Get it done

    • Geordiegiants

      I’d be surprised if he dumped Dummett.

      • shields mag

        I think Dummett is vastly underrated. He may not be spectacular but is a reliable left back and good going forward. I really don’t understand why some people don’t like him, Rafa certainly does.

        • Geordiegiants

          He is a solid reliable player. I think the mob have left him alone recently as he gets on with his job with minimal fuss. Rafa loves no nonsense people like Dummett, he always likes local players in his teams.

        • Divadrolb

          I agree Dummer has proved that he is a solid work horse and has the skill to play again in the top tier.

    • Biggs Darklighter

      We need quality players. 5 as a minimum, being a centre forward, winger, central midfielder (who can pass), a left back and a centre back

  • Geordiegiants

    I live in hope like every single other fan, but it the realisation that Ashley will never change is real.
    Rafa made it pretty clear last night about his intentions, I think it’s a 50/50 chance of him staying beyond the end of the season. He wants to stay but will only stay if he has a chance to improve th club.

  • joe mac

    it will be like oliver twist asking for more gruel!….with the same responce!…..a fat shopkeeper never changes his spots!

  • steve

    McClaren was given around £75 million to keep us in the league so I see no reason Benitez won’t be supported.

  • Biggs Darklighter

    Simple maths dictate that there should be a significant amount of money available. Should be the money saved on player sales from relegation AND the TV money for the coming season. Bearing in mind how low our wage bill is now ie significantly lower than any club currently in the premier league, there has to be money to spend in excess of the £70m touted.

    In reality, we all know that Fat Mike has pocketed the lot.

    • Geordiegiants

      Don’t let Bobbi see this comment, there will be hell on. 😡

  • nevfur

    Everyone likes to make their own predictions and past history can always be quoted but do some people always have to be so annoyingly miserable. Doom and gloom. Life must be so interminably tedious living with some of the people on here. Ashley isn’t good, surprise surprise neither in truth was Freddy Shepherd, Gordon “we can’t expect to compete with the likes of Liverpool” Mckeag, Stan Seymour junior etc. Even Sir John Hall had his faults and critics and took a fortune out of the club. It’s the way it is. Other clubs have suffered far more. For every Man City there are several Coventrys.
    We have achieved promotion. Enjoy it then wait to see what happens before starting the know it all moaning. When we get to or close to next season we can comment on what the summer has brought. Moan when there is actually something to moan about ffs. Cheer up.

    • Geordiegiants

      I think the the trick is, hope for the best expect the worst 😎. As Newcastle fans we should be used to it by now.