Rafael Benitez: Newcastle manager asked for relegation clause despite being 'convinced' of safety

The Spaniard insists he would not have taken the job on if he was not sure of survival

Mark Critchley@mjcritchley
Saturday 12 March 2016 17:21
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Rafael Benitez is unveiled as the new Newcastle manager after Steve McClaren was sacked
Rafael Benitez is unveiled as the new Newcastle manager after Steve McClaren was sacked

Rafael Benitez asked for a relegation break clause in his contract with Newcastle United despite being ‘convinced’ of safety.

The 55-year-old Spaniard, who agreed to replace Steve McClaren as the club’s manager on Friday, insisted on the insertion of a clause which would allow him to leave St. James’ Park should he fail to beat the drop.

When questioned on his request at his first press conference as the Magpies' boss, Benitez said: “Yes, but some people can see this as special, but it’s normal.“I am coming here trying to do my best to stay in the Premier League and if I have a compromise for the future, it’s because I am convinced that we will do well.

“I want to stay here – that means that I want to win from Monday,” he added.

The former Liverpool and Real Madrid manager also insisted that he would not have taken the job if he did not believe he was capable of retaining Premier League status.

“I am here because I believe we can do it, for sure,” he said.

“I said before, we have enough quality in the squad. We need to give confidence to our players, to organise the team in the way that we want to do things, and I think we can do it.

“It will be difficult, for sure, but again I will say the atmosphere of the fans, everybody in the city is helping, so hopefully we can do well.”

Benitez will take charge of the team for the first time on Monday night, when they travel to face league leaders Leicester City.

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