Rafa Benitez has revealed what he told his players about his Newcastle United future – after the club secured its Premier League status.
Benitez’s side is safe from the threat of relegation with three games left to play.
And United’s manager, out of contract in the summer, addressed his players this week ahead of this evening’s game against Brighton and Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium.
Asked if his future was an issue for his players, Benitez said: “I told them the other day – it doesn’t matter what happens to me or not.
“We are professional. We do our job, we have to be focused, train well and give everything. That’s it.
“They know that it’s a question of time, because you cannot change what’s going on.
“They cannot influence. Just train well and be ready.
“I gave the message the other day to everyone.”
Newcastle lost four successive games after the club secured its top-flight status last season – and Benitez is keen for the team to maintain its momentum.
“I wanted to do it, because at this stage of the season, where we’re safe, I want people to carry on,” said Benitez, whose side is 13th in the league.
Meanwhile, Benitez was coy on discussions about a new contract.
However, the 59-year-old talked again about the need for the club to “compete” in the division.
“If we can do the right things, we can compete,” said Benitez. “For what? If we can compete, and then try to at least be close to winning something.
“But we have to do things right. You can bring in another manager, and then maybe he will be happy if they do well and they finish 15th.
“I would like to do something more – if it’s possible.”
On his future, Benitez said: “My answer a lot of times has been let’s see where we are. We have three important games to play.
“They’re important for us, for a lot of people. For us the main thing is to concentrate on the games we have.”