Rafa Benitez reveals his thoughts on THAT Mike Ashley interview on Newcastle’s finances

Rafa Benitez.
Rafa Benitez.

Rafa Benitez says he did NOT watch Mike Ashley’s controversial TV appearance.

Ashley revealed in an interview broadcast last weekend that he wouldn’t put any more money into Newcastle United.

The club’s owner insisted his fortune was tied up in Sports Direct shares.

And the billionaire said the club must generate its own transfer funds.

Benitez reaffirmed his commitment to the promoted club in May after talks with Ashley, who promised to back him in the transfer market.

However, Benitez – whose side take on Huddersfield Town at the John Smith’s Stadium tomorrow – has seen the club miss out on a series of targets this summer.

He (Ashley) knows what he told me and what I was thinking.

Rafa Benitez

Asked if he had watched the interview, he said: “I know more or less what he has said.

“Believe me, it doesn’t change anything in terms of my approach to the games or the training sessions or preparations.

“I know what I have to do: to concentrate on the training sessions and my players. I did not watch it.

“I know what he said. I know what the fans think about the interview, and I know that if I keep talking about it, I will not change anything.

“What I need to be sure about is the team are good enough to compete against Huddersfield this weekend, Nottingham Forest in midweek and West Ham the next week.”

Ashley was at St James’s Park for last weekend’s season-opening defeat to Tottenham Hotspur.

Benitez did not speak to Ashley after the game.

Asked if he was surprised that Ashley left without speaking to him, Benitez said: “Not really.

“When you are in a game – and in this case we lost – the main thing is to understand why.

“It didn’t change anything that I’m doing. I have been dealing with (managing director) Lee Charnley this year and a half. I don’t need anything else.”

On his meeting with Ashley in May, Benitez said: “He knows what he told me and what I was thinking.”