Rafa Benitez says talks about the future at Newcastle United can wait until the summer – as he’s too focused on the present.
Benitez was “disappointed” at the club’s failure to strengthen in last month’s transfer window. Newcastle couldn’t agree a loan deal with Crystal Palace for Andros Townsend on deadline day.
And there is now a question mark above Benitez’s longer-term future at St James’s Park.
However, the Tynesiders’ manager, determined to lead the club back into the Premier League, is now refusing look beyond the club’s next game.
Second-placed Newcastle, held 2-2 by QPR in midweek, take on Steve McClaren’s Derby at St James’s Park today.
Asked if he could reassure fans about his future, Benitez said: “I was not talking about ‘if’, ‘if’, ‘if’ and I will not be saying ‘oh, in the future’.
“My future now is the next game and try to get promoted. And then, every week, things could change because if we win, it will be easier. Lose, and it will be more difficult.
“So, it makes no sense for me to talk about what happens in the future. So what I want to say is that I am concentrating and focused and I want to win very single game I can until the end of the season.
“We will have plenty of time to talk about what is going on and how to do things, or whatever, but I am not worrying about that and the fans have to understand this.
“The priority is to get the results we need to get promotion.”
Benitez – who has a good relationship with managing director Lee Charnley – would look to speak to owner Mike Ashley in the summer in the event of promotion.
The 56-year-old would want to know that Ashley is after footballing, as well as financial, success at the club, which wasn’t won a major trophy since 1969.
Newcastle’s rivals, including league leaders Brighton, added to their squads in the window.
Asked if he was concerned that the clubs around the Magpies in the table had strengthened, Benitez said: “We will see. You play XI vs XI, so if you don’t have problems with injuries, then everything could be fine because you will be strong.
“If you have injuries, and it depends on how many and in which positions, then maybe it can affect you.”