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Newcastle United virtually secured another season of top-flight football as Ayoze Perez’s hat-trick earned them a 3-1 win over Southampton on Saturday but doubts remain over manager Rafa Benitez’s future.The Spaniard, popular with the ‘Toon Army’ after getting Newcastle back into the Premier League and keeping them safe, was less than convincing when asked whether he would be extending his contract past the summer.”Our level has to be between seventh and 10th in the table,” Benitez, who side failed to win any of their first 10 league matches this season but have rallied to rise to 12th, said.

“I am the manager until 30 June. We can see the potential. When you see the teams between seventh and 15th, we have to compete with them.”Former Liverpool and Real Madrid boss Benitez is clearly frustrated at the level of investment being made in the playing squad and is likely to want a hefty transfer kitty from owner Mike Ashley over the summer.( Continue Reading ) [via @SuperSportTV]

By Ian Dei

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