Rafael Benitez: Newcastle United boss remains committed to job

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Rafael Benitez: Newcastle United boss reassures fans he will stay for promotion bid

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez has reassured supporters he will remain at St James' Park to maintain the bid for an immediate Premier League return.

The Magpies boss was frustrated after Wednesday's 2-2 draw with QPR and the lack of January additions to the squad for the second half of the season.

It was reported that the Spaniard's future was uncertain at Newcastle, who are second in the Championship.

"I will not leave, I will not quit," Benitez told BBC Newcastle.

"I want to get promoted with this team and to do well. I will put all my effort into that. I say thank you to the fans, I will continue giving everything to ensure the players, staff and fans are pushing in the same direction."

Andros Townsend
Rafael Benitez was keen to bring Crystal Palace winger Andros Townsend back to Newcastle in January

Newcastle have been short of cover over the past two months because of injuries to Dwight Gayle, Aleksandar Mitrovic, Isaac Hayden and Vurnon Anita, the absence of players at the African Cup of Nations, plus the suspension of Jonjo Shelvey earlier in the season.

Benitez was keen to bring in extra depth to a squad which was strengthened in the summer with the arrival of Gayle, DeAndre Yedlin and Matt Ritchie.

Bids were made to bring Crystal Palace winger Andros Townsend back to Tyneside, but those were rejected.

"The window has finished, we have to concentrate on the future," Benitez said. "We have a group of players who did very well in the first part of the season and we have to have confidence they will do well in the second part of the season."

Benitez was named Newcastle manager in March 2016 following the sacking of Steve McClaren. But the former Liverpool, Chelsea, Real Madrid, Inter Milan and Valencia boss was unable to prevent their relegation from the top flight last term.

Newcastle remain on course for promotion from the Championship with 59 points from 28 games, only one point behind leaders Brighton.

"The club, the city and the fans, we have made the same mistake in the past," Benitez added. "Everyone was blaming each other and we lost the focus.

"We have to stick together and have a target which is promotion and a target to achieve. Afterwards we can analyse the mistakes or what we have done well."