Rafa Benitez refuses to commit to Newcastle for next season

The Spaniard helped the team to promotion on Monday night

BY Daniel Kelly 08:19 Tuesday 25 April 2017, 8:19 25 Apr 2017

Picture by: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire/PA Images

Newcastle United earned promotion to the Premier League on Monday night, at the first time of asking.

After being relegated for the top-tier last season, Rafael Benitez has guided his side back at the first time of asking. A 4-1 victory over Preston North End, ensured that Newcastle will finish in second place at worst. Along with Brighton and Hove Albion, both sides have gained automatic promotion with games to spare.

Despite earning promotion, Benitez refused to confirm he will continue as manager next season. The former Liverpool and Real Madrid boss signed a three-year deal last May, despite being able to keep the side in the Premier League.

"You never know, that is football", the Spaniard told the Newcastle Chronicle when asked about next season's plans. "I am really pleased to be here, and really happy and proud for everything we have achieved."

"Hopefully, we can put in the foundations for something that will be a guarantee for the future. What we need is to enjoy today, and after we will see where we are."

Since arriving in Newcastle, the fans have warmly welcomed Benitez, even through last season's relegation. He admitted he was delighted to be able to payback their support with promotion.

"The fans have been amazing with me, their loyalty and everything it means to being a top team like this, with the city behind you. That is why I decided to stay, and now I am even happier than before that I made this decision."

Despite spending the season looking up at local rivals Sunderland and Middlesbrough in the Premier League, Newcastle look likely to be the only team from the north-east in the top-flight next season.

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