Sam Allardyce says Newcastle fans need to focus on staying in the league


"I think they’ll be worried. Once other clubs start going way past you in how much they’ve spent like they have then it makes life difficult for Rafa Benitez to improve on last season. They’ve dipped into the transfer market, but when you look at some of the clubs who’ve come up this season, they’re exceeding Newcastle.

"You look at Newcastle and they’re in the lower regions on this summer’s spending again, and it’s right that it concerns Rafa and the Newcastle fans. What that means is you’re relying on Rafa’s experience to make sure they stay in the Premier League and then try and build again from there. Rafa has very good knowledge in the transfer market and I think that was the key element in Newcastle staying in the division last season. Because of the size of the fees now there is no margin for error.

"You have to be a very brave man and very self confident to criticise your club’s owners. Effectively what he’s trying to do is force Mike Ashley into spending more money and in today’s world that is extremely dangerous. I can’t imagine many other managers doing that. But Rafa is brave enough to do it and he’s experienced enough to do it. I think if a bigger club had already been in for Rafa he’d have been gone. You can tell he’s not happy with his body language. But walking is another matter because the contract will be so tight I would imagine Rafa would have to pay the compensation himself and that’s probably why he won’t walk.

“He has signed some good players since he’s been at that club. I don’t think they’ll struggle as much as they did last season. I think a lot of the players will benefit from the year’s experience they’ve had. I think they’ll be ok. I think the fans should look forward to the season but sometimes up there with the fans it’s beyond the real with the expectations. They always want that little bit more. But at the minute the focus should be on stability and sustaining your position in the Premier League and grow from there.”

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