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Facebook job ads 'discriminated by gender' - | Atsu: Newcastle need Benitez to stay | Atsu: Newcastle need Benitez to stay | Atsu: Newcastle need Benitez to stay

Cape Town - Christian Atsu says the Newcastle United players love playing for manager Rafa Benitez and believes it's crucial for the club to hold on to him.

Benitez took over at the Magpies in March 2016 and helped them finish their Premier League season with a six-game unbeaten run, but they were relegated nonetheless. The Spaniard then stayed at the club and guided them back into the top flight by winning the Championship at the first time of asking.

Despite the club's limited transfer budget this season, the Spaniard has managed to lift them up to 10th position and Atsu is desperate to hold on to the former Real Madrid boss, who has one year left on his contract.

"We need him to stay because we [the players] love working with him, the fans love him, we both love him," Atsu told Sky Sports.

"We are giving him all the support and we hoping he will stay and work with us for many years, without him things would be very difficult.

"We work so hard, we have a great manager, the fans are behind us. At every game, home and away we have 52,000 fans supporting us.

"We are very happy for the support and we are so proud of ourselves that we are staying in the Premiership."

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