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Rafa Benitez has a message for Mike Ashley and Newcastle's hierarchy ahead of the transfer deadline

Rafa Benitez says actions will speak louder than words in the final week of the transfer window.

Newcastle United's manager delivered a damning verdict of the club's recruitment after Wednesday night's 4-0 defeat to Braga in Portugal.

Rafa Benitez wants more signings before the transfer window closes.

Rafa Benitez wants more signings before the transfer window closes.

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In an explosive press conference, Benitez – who has had to sell to buy this summer – claimed he was "really worried" ahead of the new season.

Benitez's players, understood to be in dispute with the club over their bonus scheme for the coming season, refused to speak to the media after the Braga game.

"When things are not going well off the pitch, you can see a reflection on the pitch," said Benitez.

United's manager wants to sign Salomon Rondon before the August 9 transfer deadline.

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley.

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley.

Benitez, frustrated that the club had not activated his £16.5million release clause, had been prepared to swap Gayle for the striker.

However, Rondon's clause has reportedly expired.

Asked about Rondon, Benitez said: "Yes, it could be fine if we have an agreement, but, at the moment, we have to respect West Brom and what they decide.

"We have been talking for a while about players. I think it's a time to act, not talk.

"I'm optimistic thinking that in 10 days we will do what we didn't do in two months. I don't think so, but I think it's obvious that we need people. We need bodies."

On Gayle, Benitez added: "It seems that Dwight will stay."

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Newcastle finished 10th place in the Premier League last season.

Benitez had hoped to better that position, but now the target is survival.

Asked if he had enough quality to stay in the division, Benitez said: "I hope so.

"I have a very good opinion about the team spirit of this club, the workrate we had last year and what they achieved.

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"Obviously, everybody is spending money, and the Premier League's a little bit stronger, but still you have to trust your players, and if we are focused and play in the way we played last year, I have confidence that we can perform and we can compete.

"What does that mean? You never know. Compete sometimes means you lose 1-0 and still you are losing.

"So if you see the teams that have been promoted, and the money they spend, and you put all these things together you will understand why the fans are a little bit concerned and why we are a little bit concerned."