Newcastle United

Ayoze Perez challenges Newcastle to match last season’s top-half finish

Hat-trick hero Ayoze Perez has urged Newcastle not to take their foot off the gas as they attempt to match last season’s top-10 Premier League finish. The 25-year-old Spaniard’s first treble for the club secured a 3-1 win over Southampton on Saturday evening to lift the Magpies to 41 points, 10 clear of Cardiff in the last remaining relegation berth, and effectively safe. However, he insists they will not rest on their laurels, despite climbing into 12th place with three games remaining. Perez told NUFC TV: “We need to have the ambition to go into the next game and fight for the three points knowing that getting them, we’re going to be in an even better position. That’s the way we have to think. “There are three to go, not long now. The main job is done,...

Rafael Benitez urges Newcastle to spend in order to reach top half

Rafael Benitez has told Newcastle they should be competing for seventh place in the Premier League rather than fighting for survival every season. The Magpies all but mathematically clinched a third successive top-flight campaign with a 3-1 home victory over Southampton. which left them 10 points clear of Cardiff in the final relegation place. Should the Bluebirds fail to beat title-chasing Liverpool on Sunday, Benitez’s men will be safe. And as the Newcastle boss waits for answers from owner Mike Ashley and managing director Lee Charnley over his new contract – his current deal expires on June 30 – he fired them a warning shot, with reference in particular to the age limit they want to impose on incoming signings. Benitez said: “Our level, I think, has to be between seventh an...

Result: Ayoze Perez hat-trick fires Newcastle past 40-point mark

Ayoze Perez‘s hat-trick all but guaranteed Premier League safety as Newcastle survived a second-half fightback by Southampton to win 3-1. The Spaniard’s quick-fire first-half brace, which came minutes after the Saints’ James Ward-Prowse had escaped a red card for a cynical challenge on Miguel Almiron, looked to have put the Magpies in complete control. However, Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl made a double change at the break and one of the newcomers, Mario Lemina, pulled one back before Perez settled it four minutes from time with his 11th goal of the season. Rafael Benitez’s men, who have won six of their last seven home games in the league to go 10 points clear of Cardiff, were decidedly ordinary for much of the second half, but ultimately emerged with a huge v...

Rafael Benitez hints at Newcastle exit with desire to return to Champions League

Rafael Benitez plans to work until he is 70 and is desperate for another tilt at the Champions League. As the 59-year-old waits for answers from the Newcastle hierarchy over a contract extension both are keen to agree, but which seems no closer to being signed, he is keen to compete for the game’s biggest prizes once again. Whether that comes at St James’ Park, where his stay of more than three years is set to end on June 30, remains to be seen with managing director Lee Charnley insisting – as the club’s latest accounts were published on Thursday – that it would continue to live within its means. Asked how long he planned to carry on, Benitez said: “Yesterday I was talking with a friend – 11 years. Eleven years as a manager, that’s fine. You can see Roy Hodgs...

Newcastle United MD promises ‘sustainable’ spending

Newcastle managing director Lee Charnley has warned that the club will continue to live within its means after reporting an £18.6million profit after tax. Figures for the year ending June 30, 2018 show that the Magpies, who are currently attempting to persuade manager Rafael Benitez to sign a new contract as he waits to see what their ambitions are, bounced back from the financial disaster of relegation from the Premier League at the end of the 2015-16 season. However Charnley, while reassured by the club’s position, insists that it will not spend money it has not got in a bid to improve things on the pitch as talks with Benitez’s representatives continue with the Spaniard’s current deal, which ends on June 30, running down. He said: “A 10th-place finish in our firs...

Rafael Benitez hopeful over Florian Lejeune recovery

Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez is hoping defender Florian Lejeune will bounce back quickly once again after undergoing surgery to repair his left knee. The 27-year-old Frenchman had an operation in Rome earlier this week on the ruptured anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, an injury sustained during the 1-0 Premier League defeat to Crystal Palace at St James’ Park on April 6. Lejeune was back on the pitch within five months after suffering a similar injury to his right knee in August last year and having sent him back to the same surgeon, Professor Pier Paolo Mariani, Benitez is hopeful that he will make an equally swift recovery. The 59-year-old Spaniard said: “He had the operation. I was talking with the doctor and everything has gone well, as we were expecting. “...

Premier League Team of the Week – Lucas Moura, Kevin De Bruyne, Virgil van Dijk

Sports Mole selects its Premier League team of the week for gameweek 34, including Lucas Moura, Kevin De Bruyne and Virgil van Dijk. The 2018-19 Premier League season edged one more game towards its conclusion this weekend, with Liverpool still leading a title race which looks set to go down to the wire. Manchester City momentarily returned to the top of the table with a 3-1 victory over Crystal Palace on Sunday, but the Reds responded by beating Chelsea 2-0 at Anfield to move two points clear – albeit having played a game more than the champions. Chelsea’s defeat at Anfield saw their top-four hopes take a blow as Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United and Arsenal all won, with Spurs among the biggest victors of the weekend courtesy of their 4-0 triumph over relegated Huddersfiel...

Ayoze Perez insists Newcastle now safe in Premier League

Ayoze Perez believes Newcastle are now safe from relegation, but doubts that would be the case if Rafael Benitez was not in charge. The forward’s eighth goal of the season earned them a 1-0 win at Leicester on Friday to move the Magpies onto 38 points. Newcastle have four games left and have to play Southampton, Brighton and Fulham – all teams below them – along with Liverpool. The Magpies are not mathematically safe from the drop but Perez is sure they have survived. “It’s fair enough to say we’re a Premier League team again next season, it was a great effort from the lads and a great three points,” he said. “We’re still very professional and know we can get even better and carry on the same way. We have four to go and we have the ambition to keep...

Rafael Benitez reveals new Newcastle United contract is “closer”

Boss Rafael Benitez hinted he is preparing to stay at Newcastle and believes his future will be resolved quicker with the Magpies on the brink survival. Ayoze Perez‘s excellent first-half header earned the Magpies a 1-0 win at Leicester on Friday. They are 10 points clear of the Premier League’s bottom three – although every team below them has games in hand – with four matches left. That victory lifts @NUFC 10 points clear of the #PL bottom three#LEINEW pic.twitter.com/cRobKgtBpu — Premier League (@premierleague) April 12, 2019 It was just Newcastle’s third away win of the season – and first since December. Benitez is out of contract at the end of the season and, while he remained cautious about survival, believes victory at Leicester will help sort his future. He said: ...

Result: Ayoze Perez puts Newcastle within a whisker of safety

Ayoze Perez eased Newcastle’s relegation fears as the Magpies ended their away win drought at Leicester. The striker’s eighth goal of the season earned the Magpies a 1-0 victory and their first victory on the road since December. It moved Newcastle up to 13th, 10 points clear of the Premier League’s relegation zone, having played up to two games more than their rivals with four matches remaining. Ayoze Perez (left) was United’s hero (Nick Potts/PA) Salomon Rondon’s splendid first-half free kick hit the bar for Newcastle and Jamie Vardy missed the Foxes’ best chance when he lifted over late on as the hosts’ four-game winning run ended. Defeat was also a major dent in the race for seventh and a possible Europa League spot with Watford, Everton and Wolves all ready to take advantage over the ...

Premier League Team of the Week – Mohamed Salah, Eden Hazard, Jamie Vardy

Sports Mole selects its Premier League team of the week from a depleted gameweek 33, including Mohamed Salah, Eden Hazard and Jamie Vardy. Liverpool sit two points clear at the top of the Premier League at the end of gameweek 33 after beating Southampton 3-1 at St Mary’s on Friday night. Champions Manchester City were in FA Cup action during a depleted weekend of Premier League football, allowing the Reds to once again rise to the summit – albeit having played a game more than their title rivals. There were more twists in the top-four race too as Chelsea beat West Ham United on Monday night to move into third place, taking full advantage of Arsenal‘s slip-up against Everton on Sunday. Burnley came from behind to beat Bournemouth and give their survival hopes of massive bo...

DeAndre Yedlin knows Newcastle still have work to do to secure safety

DeAndre Yedlin has urged Newcastle to put the disappointment of a missed opportunity behind them to belatedly secure their Premier League future. The Magpies went into Saturday’s clash with Crystal Palace looking for a sixth successive home victory which would have taken them to 38 points and effective safety, but ultimately emerged on the wrong end of a 1-0 scoreline. To rub salt into the wound, they were the architects of their own downfall as they squandered a series of good chances before succumbing to a sucker punch after conceding a late penalty. Despite slipping to 15th place in the table, they remain seven points clear of Cardiff in the last remaining relegation berth, but know there is still work to be done ahead of Friday night’s difficult trip to Leicester. Yedlin said: “We have...

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