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Former Newcastle star backs Benitez to take club forward

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Former Newcastle United defender Ryan Taylor has given his vote of confidence to Rafael Benitez while insisting that the Spaniard is the right man to lead the club.

The 33-year-old spent five and a half seasons at St James’ Park and was part of the Magpies squad that reached the quarter-finals of the UEFA Europa League back in the 2011/12 season. Taylor believes that Benitez has all the right credentials and the mentality required to help Newcastle once again reach for one of the top spots in the Premier League that will ensure European football.

“When you look at the club as a whole, they’ve got everything. They just need to believe in themselves a little bit more,” Taylor told NUFCTV.

“Okay, it wasn’t a great transfer window but the squad is good enough to compete in the Premier League, as we’ve already seen. And if they can stay in the top half this season, and keep Rafa, I’m sure they can only push on from there.

“Hopefully they get a few more signings next season and push the club on even further. As a Newcastle fan and ex-player, that’s what you want to see.

“I know we did manage fifth (in 2011/12) but the club as a whole has got the potential to reach the same again, if not better.

“If Rafa’s happy and he stays, there’s only one way the club’s going. I’ve heard some great things about him on the training pitch, how hard he works, behind the scenes. You keep Rafa and you’re only going in one direction.”

Newcastle currently occupy the 9th spot on the Premier League table with ten points from seven games. The Tyneside club’s next league outing is at the St. Mary’s Stadium against Southampton on 15 October.