Rafael Benitez says he understands Newcastle fans calling for January signings
Benitez: "The fans have been fantastic all season. They have the ambition to do something good for this club. I can understand what they think"
Last Updated: 04/01/19 2:28pm
Rafael Benitez has taken a vow of silence on Newcastle's January transfer policy as supporters continue to wait for investment from owner Mike Ashley.
The Newcastle boss also refused to be drawn on the fans' demand for signings, but says he has seen the open letter written to Ashley and that he understands the position of the group.
Having seen their team slip to 15th in the Premier League and just two points clear of the relegation zone, the fans are worried by the threat of dropping down to the Championship.
With Ashley potentially distracted by his ongoing efforts to sell the club, they have called on him to be proactive in the transfer market this month.
Asked if he has seen the letter, Benitez said: "The communications department is really good so they have passed me the information.
"The fans are saying that they want to compete, they want to stay in the Premier League.
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"The fans have been fantastic all season. They have the ambition to do something good for this club. I can understand what they think.
"At the same time, my position is that I will not talk about the transfer window because I have to concentrate on just coaching the team."
Asked when he might begin talking about signings, Benitez joked: "Maybe on the first of February we can talk about that."
Benitez was also asked about reports linking the club with Nice striker Mario Balotelli, but the Spaniard was again bullish on the subject.
"I saw that but you know that I will not talk about the transfer window," he said.
Despite Newcastle's lowly league position, Benitez appeared to suggest that he remains hopeful for the club's future.
"When I decided to come, it was because of the potential of the club," he said. "I like to have a project and think about how ambitious we can be.
"I understand how they [the fans] feel, but I have to do the best in my job to be sure that we stay up."