By 90Min
October 14, 2018

Newcastle's manager, Rafa Benítez, believes that he may be sacked before the end of the season as Mike Ashley looks to appease the Magpies' fans.

Whilst the former Liverpool manager led Newcastle to a miraculous tenth-placed finish in the last Premier League campaign, he has endured a rocky start to this season. With eight league games played so far, the Magpies are winless and sit in 19th position.

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This poor run of form has set the managerial rumour mill in motion, with Celtic's Brendan Rodgers tipped for a Premier League return to replace Benitez, as reported by the Mirror.

Having exceeded expectations last season, Benitez still believes that he has what it takes to keep Newcastle above the drop-zone come May.

However, much to the Newcastle faithful's frustration, their club's manager was not backed in the summer transfer window by Mike Ashley. The Magpies didn't exactly spend big, coming in fourth from last place among the Premier League teams in summer expenditures. 

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Benitez would have been hoping that, having led Newcastle to a mid-table finish last season, he would have been given the funds to build off of that success. However, Ashley's decision to keep his money in his pocket means that the Spanish manager is likely to leave the club on his own accord in eight months time when his contract expires. 

Having recently bought House of Fraser, the Newcastle fans believe that Ashley is prioritising his business affairs over the club. This has led to widespread protest against the Magpies' owner and Benitez believes he may pay with his job as Ashley desperately attempts to repair his relationship with the supporters.

However, this could just further highlight how out of touch Newcastle's owner is with the Geordie faithful. Benitez is well-liked by the fans, and many believe that with the state the club are in currently, he is the best manager they could hope to have. 

If Benitez is sacked, or allowed to run his contract down before leaving in the summer, Ashley may face further backlash and season ticket sales might be affected as Newcastle's fans look to incite a change of ownership. 

Newcastle next face Brighton at St James' Park on Saturday. With both sides likely to be battling relegation this season, this would be the perfect time for the Magpies to get their first league win of the season. 

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