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Published: 18:02 | 15/5/16

Benitez hints at staying on as Newcastle boss

Spaniard is out of contract at St James' Park

Rafael Benitez says he may stay on as Newcastle manager because he feels "the love" of the club's supporters.

The Spaniard signed a short-term contract at St James' Park in March to replace the sacked Steve McClaren, but was unable to keep the Magpies in the Premier League.

Newcastle fans held up banners ahead of the final home game of the season against Tottenham on Sunday, urging the former Liverpool, Inter Milan, Napoli and Real Madrid to stay on as manager, and Benitez admits that he is tempted to extend his stay on Tyneside.

"My heart is telling me yes (to stay), it is a great opportunity, city and club but my brain is saying to analyse what is going on," the 56-year-old told BBC's Match of the Day after Newcastle's 5-1 thrashing of Spurs.

"I am really open to talking and see what happens. I have been in football all this time you want to be sure people love you and if you work hard that they recognise that you are trying your best and I have this here.

"I knew that every day when I walk in the streets. Everyone is so positive and the atmosphere today doesn’t surprise me too much. They were supporting for 90 minutes, I knew it would be like this and that is why I am so open to keep on talking."

Mauricio Pochettino apologised for his side's performance, calling it his "worst day as a manager" as Tottenham slumped to a second successive defeat to drop below North London neighbours Arsenal in the Premier League table.

"First of all I would like to apologise to our fans, I think they don’t deserve all that happened today on the pitch and I apologise," the Argentine said.

" It was a shame and diffcult to understand."

Pochettino believes his players have been "on holiday" and not mentally focused after their title bid was derailed by the 2-2 draw with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on 2 May.

"In the last couple of weeks when you do not play with 100 per cent it is impossible to win games and after Chelsea something happened. We cannot manage games in the right way," he continued.

"I am very disappointed because our fans don’t deserve it, it is difficult to go tonight and see my boys and my wife. I think it is unbelievable and we are very disappointed.

"We had the possibility to stay second and how we lost and how we gave to the opponent that is relegated, in the first and second half, they score three goals with 10 players it is the worst day as a manager and I feel very disappointed. We need to be sure that never happens again and need to improve our mentality.

"We were on holiday and that is the reality."


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