Rafa Benitez on what he missed out on at Newcastle United and relationship with ‘massive’ Magpies supporters

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The Spaniard endured a frustrating time in charge of the Magpies.

Former Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez has revealed his frustration at missing out on the possibility to take the Magpies forward under new ownership.

The former Real Madrid and Liverpool boss became a popular figure at St James Park after helping United bounce back from relegation into the Championship at the first attempt in 2017.

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Benitez led the Magpies to mid-table finishes over the following two seasons but became increasingly frustrated by a perceived lack of ambition and investment by former owner Mike Ashley.

His departure was confirmed at the end of the 2018/19 season and the Spaniard would go on to manage Chinese club Dalian Professional before returning to the Premier League with a controversial decision to take over at Everton.

During the opening months of his reign at Goodison Park, Benitez could only watch on as a long-awaited takeover of his old club was completed as the PIF-led consortium brought an end to Ashley’s ownership.

And the former Magpies boss was out of work by the time the new owners started to deliver the investment he craved during his time on Tyneside.

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Reflecting on the situation he found himself in at St James Park, Benitez revealed his belief that the Magpies can ‘get better and better’ with the support they now have.

He told Sky Sports: “(The former owners) were not investing to achieve more. What I said before, the context, you have to analyse that.

“We couldn’t achieve much more and now with more resources, more options and everyone supporting you, you have more chances to reach their real level.

“You have a city, you have a team and the way that they support the team is massive so now they have a chance to get better and better.”

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Benitez built up a special relationship with the St James Park faithful after he deciding to commit to the club in the aftermath of their relegation from the Premier League.

The loyalty shown towards the Spaniard was reciprocated as the former Valencia boss gave an intriguing insight into his feelings towards the United supporters.

“I will tell you that in my time there, I had an offer, I had some offers but especially one and I decided to stay for the fans.

“Not because of the project because we didn’t have any project but the fans, the supporters.”

“I was honest to stay there to fight until the end.

“I lost the opportunity to stay with the new owners – because they were coming late – and try to reach the maximum potential of the club.”

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