Rafa Benitez delivers emotional message for Newcastle’s ‘amazing’ fans

Rafa Benitez
Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez had a message for Newcastle United’s fans after guiding the club back into the Premier League.

Benitez’s side beat Preston North End 4-1 at St James’s Park to secure promotion back to the top flight.

United’s manager joined his players on the pitch after the final whistle.

Benitez was roared on to the pitch by jubilant supporters.

Asked about his emotions after the final whistle, Benitez said: “My feelings when I walked on the pitch were similar to what I have been feeling all year.

“The fans have been amazing with me. Their loyalty and everything, it means to being a top team like this with the city behind you. That is why I decided to stay, and now I am even happier than before that I made this decision.

“I am really proud and really pleased.”

Newcastle are four points behind leaders Brighton and Hove Albion with two games left to play.

United are away to Cardiff City on Friday night.

And Benitez says his team will fight on in the hope of wrestling the title from Brighton.

“We will try our best (to win the title),” said Benitez. “We will play Cardiff, and then see where we are.

“But we have achieved what we wanted to achieve.

“After the first two games, people were asking us ‘do you want to be champions or will you be happy just to go up?’. Yes, we are happy.

“Credit to Brighton, because they are a good team. But they have had the last four or five years in the play-offs, so they have the experience and squad for this division.

“We have had to put everything together quickly, but we did it. So I say credit to our players, our staff and everyone in the club.”