By Russell Edge

23rd Apr, 2018 | 9:44am

'We have to change' - Newcastle senior figure makes stunning claim over future plans

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez has claimed that things will have to constantly change at the club if they hope to avoid regressing down the table and push on for future success.

The Magpies have enjoyed a fine finish to their first season back in the Premier League and sit 10th in the table with a handful of matches left to play.

They have been in red hot form of late, with four consecutive victories and just two league defeats since the start of 2018, a run which has catapulted them away from the relegation fight and into the hunt for a top half finish come the end of the season.

However, while accepting that their campaign has been a “fantastic achievement”, Benitez said that taking the next step forward would require serious change in both the mentality and the approach of the club, a stunning claim considering the success they have tasted this season.

He told the Daily Mail: “We have to be sure to have all the tools to compete and achieve what we want, because Newcastle is a massive football club.

“What I don’t want next year, if we finish in the top 10, is for people to say, ‘Okay, fine, now you must finish in the top six’.

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

“To do that you must have a real project with a realistic business plan and with an idea of the target and the tools to achieve that target.

“We have to change things if we want to improve. They know my idea.

Newcastle could mathematically secure their top flight safety with a point over Everton on Monday night.

Football Insider verdict

Benitez’s comments serve as a stark warning to Mike Ashley and the rest of the board at St James’ Park, as he reveals his plans to progress instead of standing still. Too many times have the Magpies been guilty of resting on their laurels while they are succeeding, and that itself has resulted in the club taking several steps backwards while their rivals have pushed on. Ashley might not like the idea of having to spend to improve but Benitez has provided a brilliant base from which to build, and while the Spaniard has proven his patience, it cannot last much longer. If the club are to succeed, this is the time to lay down the cards and roll the dice.

In other Newcastle United news, crucial talks are imminent over the future of the club in two ways.

Don’t miss out on breaking and exclusive Newcastle United news by clicking here for our brilliant 24/7 updates on FacebookInstagram and YouTube