Newcastle must keep Benítez, says Lascelles

Michael Keane of Everton during the Premier League match between Everton and Southampton at Goodison Park

Newcastle saw off Chelsea with a comfortable 3-0 victory at St James' Park on Sunday, meaning they finish in the top half just 12 months after being promoted back to the Premier League.

"The players care, and the manager and staff and everybody".

Rafael Benitez is hoping skipper Jamaal Lascelles stays at Newcastle next season amid claims that Chelsea are leading a pack of potential suitors who are willing to pay £30million for him.

He said: "I think this week, maybe there will be another conversation and we will see where we are for the next week".

For a club however that won their much-desired undecima in the previous year, the Madridistas would not endure a perhaps slight dip in results for a longer-term gain. "The way that the team was working in the whole season, to be safe with five games to play was fantastic". At the beginning, we were thinking that the target was to stay up, and I can read about a lot of managers now saying, "Great because we are safe", but we were safe five games before, so that is wonderful.

"It was a ideal day for the fans and the players".

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"It was pretty much a ideal Sunday".

"I think I've come on leaps and bounds in that aspect, how to deal with things differently; he pulls me aside and says you can't always be this way, you've got to adapt to different people's personalities - he's worked with Steven Gerrard, Cristiano Ronaldo and John Terry". We want to compete and with the right quality and at the right level.

Speculation surrounding Benitez's future has been rife, with a year remaining on his contract but guarantees over funds available still not made, and the Spaniard says he is hopeful they can make a breakthrough. My job is to be sure that the players are focused on the last game and if we can do well, I will enjoy the moment.

"The fans have ambitions and we have ambitions, and we have to know if everybody has the same feelings too".

"It is easy to see what we have, now we need to do something more and be a little bit better".

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