Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez has urged the club's hierarchy to 'match the ambition of the fans' in the future following their narrow 3-2 defeat to Liverpool at St James' Park.
It was a spirited display from the hosts, who twice came from behind in the game before eventually falling to Divock Origi's header in the 86th minute (one which came from a controversial free kick after Fabinho fell to the floor with minimal contact).
The defeat to his former club could potentially be Benitez's final home game in charge of the Magpies, as his contract is set to expire at the end of the season. The Spaniard has revealed that talks have taken place about extending his stay in the north east, but nothing is finalised yet.
Speaking post-match to Sky Sports, he said: "This game was special, I have a relationship with both sets of fans.
"It's always special when you do well and have to go around and see smiles on the fans' faces, it's emotional but really good at the same time. We have had and will have conversations over the next couple of weeks [of my future] and see where we are.
Rafa Benitez showing again why he is one of the best. Shoestring budget yet has Newcastle competing with one of the best sides in Europe in Liverpool. Credit to him.— DaveOCKOP (@DaveOCKOP) May 4, 2019
"It's so simple, you have the potential, you can feel the potential and the passion of the fans and what it means to them.
"We have to compete with the teams that are around us but it's not easy. I am really proud and pleased because we stayed up, but I'd like to compete for something more. Hopefully we can go closer and match the ambition of the fans."
The loss to the Reds sees Newcastle's three-game unbeaten run come to an end. They do still have a chance though of eclipsing last season's points tally of 44 points though, provided they beat Fulham on the final day of the campaign.
Despite suffering a late defeat, Benitez admitted he was pleased with his side's display after the final whistle, claiming it was one that the fans should be proud of.
He added: "The way we played, the commitment of the players, the togetherness of the players and fans was crucial in what was a good performance.
"I'm proud of this group of players, to stay up was a good achievement and to today against one of the best teams in Europe from the beginning until the end is something every Newcastle fan can be pleased and happy about."