Miles Starforth: Rafa Benitez is going nowhere at Newcastle – for now

Rafa Benitez
Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez is going nowhere. For now.

That was the message to come from this afternoon's Press conference.

But we already knew that.

Today's newspapers, including the Gazette, reported that Newcastle United's failure to strengthen its squad in last month's transfer window had put a question mark above Benitez's longer-term future at St James's Park.

Benitez had told of his "disappointment" after the window closed.

United's manager was disappointed. And he remains disappointed.

However, he insisted he was staying at the club.

Benitez is determined to lead Newcastle, second in the Championship ahead of tomorrow's home game against Derby County, back into the Premier League.

And the 56-year-old had a message for the club's fans when he addressed journalists at the club's Benton training ground.

"I will not quit," he said. "I will not leave because I am happy or I am not happy. I am ready to fight and try to get three points in the next game and to be promoted at the end of the season. That's it.

"It is so simple, so clear, and because I have a compromise, especially with the fans, who have from the very beginning been pushing and helping me to enjoy my job.

"I am just trying to be sure that the players, the staff – everyone – is pushing in the same direction, so we need our fans."

Unity is strength. And Benitez has succeeded in reuniting Newcastle in his nine months in charge.

But United will need to strengthen further should the club reach the Premier League.

And the question of Benitez's longer-term future can only be answered by owner Mike Ashley.