Newcastle United fans are ready to implore Rafa Benitez to stay on the final day of the season – after the club was relegated without kicking a ball.
Sunderland’s 3-0 win over Everton at the Stadium of Light last night condemned the club to the Championship.
It was the second relegation of Mike Ashley’s decade-long ownership.
And Newcastle have nothing but pride to play when Tottenham Hotspur visit St James’s Park on Sunday.
Benitez, appointed in March, has a clause in his contract allowing him to walk away in the event of the club dropping out of the Premier League.
But, crucially, the 56-year-old – who started the season at Real Madrid – hasn’t ruled out staying on Tyneside.
And he will hold talks with the club’s hierarchy over his future at the end of the campaign.
Up to now, Benitez – who signed a three-year deal after agreeing to succeed Steve McClaren at the club – has refused to look beyond United’s next game.
Asked about his future after last weekend’s damaging goalless draw at Aston Villa at Villa Park, he said: “I still think we have a chance (of staying up), so I will continue with that idea in my head.”
Benitez, however, will face more questions about his future ahead of the Tottenham game.
Supporters on social media have talked about a mass show of support at St James’s Park for Benitez in an attempt to persuade him that his future lies at the club.
Benitez’s name has been loudly chanted during every one of his nine games in charge of the club.
And the Spaniard has been touched by the welcome and support he has been given by supporters since arriving on Tyneside.