Mike Ashley deserves credit for this key Newcastle decision – Tim Sherwood

Newcastle fans don’t like Mike Ashley – but he did appoint Rafa Benitez as manager (Pic: GETTY)

The businessman turned football club owner is not widely loved in Newcastle for his perceived refusal to invest money in the club.

But it doesn’t look like he’s going anywhere soon with the Toon in the Premier League and playing in front of sold-out home crowds.

Boss Rafa Benitez has been involved in a running battle with his owner and it’s flared up again with the Spaniard desperate for funds to improve his playing staff.

And while everything is not rosy in Newcastle, Sherwood thinks Ashley has at least got the appointment of Benitez right.

He told BT Sport’s Savage on Saturday programme: “I think at home sometimes the onus is on them. The fans think, ‘well you have bored us to death away from home. We’ve travelled in our numbers, now try and entertain us and score goals,’ but they don’t do it.

“And I mean that in the nicest possible way. He stifles games, Rafa Benitez, and he knows how to do it, he knows how to get results.

“Without Rafa Benitez, they get relegated with that squad of players.

“With Rafa they stay up. They are in a relegation battle, of course they are, they have got a lot of hard work to do.

rafa-benitez

Newcastle would be down without Benitez, says Sherwood (Pic: REUTERS)

“I think Mike Ashley has to take some credit for appointing him”

Tim Sherwood

“But they are out of it in my opinion. They are good enough to be able to do it because of that man.

“I think Mike Ashley has to take some credit for appointing him.

“Yes, you don’t want to go out there and sign big money players, average players for big money, what you want Rafa to do is turn average players into good players and that is just what he is doing.”