Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley has yet to give Rafa Benitez any indication of his January transfer budget – despite personally congratulating the manager of Magpies and his players after their first win of the season.
The billionaire, who has been present at United's last six games and expects again at St James & Park for the AFC Bournemouth clash, has finally seen the Magpies win a victory over Watford last weekend.
After the match, Ashley – who spoke directly with Captain Jamaal Lascelles during the summer to finish a dispute with the players, before taking Newcastle's staff out for an Italian meal last meal – visited the locker room for congratulate the team.
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He then spoke separately with Benitez, thanking the United manager for finally bringing Newcastle to a victory at the 11th attempt.
When asked about Ashley's action last weekend during his pre-Bournemouth press conference, Benitez said: "I was not there [in the dressing room]but when I spoke to him he said: "Well done, congratulations, well done." Thanks. & # 39;
"He congratulated the team and then congratulated the staff [at the ground against this weekend]; he is the owner, he can do what he wants.
"He has not been trained, but I have no problems with anyone, he's always welcome."
With less than two months from the start of the January window, the Newcastle recruitment team is exploring a series of players in recent weeks – including watching the strikers on the continent – before creating a set of goals within the first few months. December.
However, Benitez has revealed that his discussions with Ashley have not yet led to any promises of funds from the owner, nor has he facilitated any progress with respect to his contractual situation.
The Spaniard has only six months on his current agreement, but Benitez has postponed substantial discussions on an 'extension until after the mid-season window – although the CEO Lee Charnley continues to discuss the subject with his manager intermittently during their day to day conversations.
"I was expecting more questions about January, but we need to focus on now and what we need to do," Benitez replied when asked if he now felt more confident that Ashley would free the funds to invest in the team during the half-window season .
"We have many opportunities to talk about it, we have to maximize what we have now, and the future can wait.
"If we win [against Bournemouth]maybe we can win two or three other games too and this will make a big difference for our season ".
Rather than discussing January or his own contractual situation during the pre-match press conference, Benitez wanted to focus on Newcastle's need to support the first win of the season with another positive result.
Bournemouth, sixth ranked, arrives on Tyneside full of confidence, and Benitez has challenged his players to maintain concentration and claim consecutive victories, although none of Jonjo Shelvey, Yoshinori Muto or captain Jamaal Lascelles should be involved.
With United just outside the relegation zone on goal difference at the moment, a win could help push the Magpies out of the international break for the November break.
"Obviously this is a difficult game because we are playing against a team that is fit but we are at home so I am confident that we can do what we have to do, ie get three points," added Benitez.
"It will be an even bigger push for confidence and we will have more chances to compete, what I said about these projectors after the first games is that, if you play well, you can win these games. You can win.
"But against the high sides, if you do not play well, you normally lose, so I think we will have more chances to get points in November and December.
"In every position of the table is very important [to win successive games], especially at the bottom. If you analyze this season, the top teams are winning and not losing. They are winning almost all the time. The teams at the back, we are losing more than maybe in the past.
"What does it mean? It means that the difference between these teams and the others is too big, which means that a couple of wins will give you a good platform in the future."