Ashley's comments may be greeted with scepticism by some fans, with Benitez having been disappointed by the limits imposed upon him during the last two transfer windows, when he had hoped to strengthen his squad significantly more than he was able to do. I would also like to applaud the players, led fantastically by the captain Jamaal Lascelles.
"On many occasions through the season they have been described as a Championship side, which I personally consider to be derogatory".
Ashley promised to back Benitez with "every penny generated by the club".
"Rafa's always wanted money to spend".
Three or four key summer signings will be required to ensure Newcastle can turn their attentions towards the European positions, but while this season's achievements have added more than £120m to the Magpies' coffers, it remains to be seen whether Ashley is willing to loosen the purse strings. He's made a profit on transfers.More news: Himanshu Roy has left a void hard to fill in: Mumbai Police
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"This group of players have done so well, so it would be easy to say, "Okay, well you are already in the top ten".
The Blues' hopes of playing in next season's Europe topflight competition faded away when they drew 1-1 to Huddersfield Town at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night. "We have to have confidence in this team".
Benitez has made clear that he is unhappy with the lack of funds afforded to him over the past year, being forced to rely on small-money signings and loan arrivals. "You have to have a squad to compete".
Ayoze Perez (9.5/10): Arguably the best player of the game, Ayoze Perez's incredible performance helped Newcastle register a thumping win over the Premier League giants.
The Dickensian rule of the Mike Ashley era has brought about many changes with those of us who have followed Newcastle before his time here suffering the most, whilst the younger fan was born into an era of fabricated blind loyalty with very little chance of building lasting foundations.