Former Toon Star Injured In Fatal Crash

Former Newcastle United striker Papiss Cisse has been injured in a fatal minibus crash in Turkey.

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Cisse's Alanyaspor team-mate Josef Sural died in the crash three miles from the coastal town of Alanya.

They were returning from an away game against Kayserispor yesterday.

Sural and six of his team-mates, among them Cisse and former Tottenham Hotspur and Cardiff City defender Steven Caulker, were taken to hospital, according to reports.

And 28-year-aold Sural, a Czech Republic international, later died in hospital.

Cisse. 33, left Newcastle three years ago after four years at the club.

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Rafael Benitez's Newcastle future is the only topic of conversation on Tyneside as the Premier League season draws to a close.

The Spaniard's existing deal expires on June 30th and fans are desperately hoping he will extend his stay after three largely successful years at St James' Park.

Let's take a look at the issues surrounding the saga.

Does Benitez want to stay?

Yes, it certainly seems he does. Despite having to battle the hierarchy at every turn, the 59-year-old has enjoyed his time on Tyneside.

He claims he is desperate for a chance to implement a long-term strategy and re-establish the club in the Premier League's top 10 and fight for domestic cup success.

In addition, he wants to work in England and is keen to stay in the north, where his family is based. They live in Liverpool.

Does Mike Ashley want to keep him?

There is little doubt there is a recognition that the manager has done a good job since agreeing to stay in the wake of relegation.

He guided the club back into the top flight and having dragged it to a 10th-place finish last season, secured its Premier League status once again with Saturday's 3-1 win over Southampton.

The Magpies' latest financial figures graphically illustrated the cost of relegation, and Benitez's success in retaining the millions on offer to English football's top 20 clubs on relatively modest resources is music to owner Mike Ashley's ears.

But, although Rafa is a hero to the Toon fans and can do no wrong, Ashley cannot resist a dig at the fans, for whatever reason. It is safe to say - the fans HATE Ashley - and he HATES them back! It's bizarre to say the least. But everything Ashley does is bizarre.

What does Ashley need to do to convince Benitez?

There's the rub. Benitez has grown tired of managing on a shoestring and believes he has done enough to suggest that, given greater financial backing in terms of both transfer fees and wages, Newcastle could target significantly more than mere survival.

He is convinced the potential he saw when he first took over the reins remains largely untapped, and that the club should be targeting the places immediately behind the top six in the short to medium-term.

Ashley, through managing director Lee Charnley, allowed him to spend what could amount to £21million on Miguel Almiron in January - the first time the club's transfer record had been broken during the sportswear magnate's tenure - providing a measure of encouragement.

A confirmed budget and the autonomy to spend it on the players he wants would be a further step in the right direction.

However Ashley, who is still keen to sell the business, remains averse to investing in older players with little or no sell-on value. And the wage cap shows that big name players will always pick London, Manchester and Liverpool ahead of the North-East.

Another problem, Charnley has indicated that investment in the academy and training ground, something Benitez has advocated for some time, is not currently a priority.

What do the supporters think?

Benitez enjoys overwhelming support from the Toon Army, who at various points over the last 12 years have been in open revolt at Ashley's ownership.

The Spaniard's retention might just extend an uneasy truce, while the alternative would provoke a major backlash. It is not that Benitez can do no wrong - he received criticism during a difficult first half of the season and his conservative approach against the Premier League's superpowers has also been questioned.

However, he has instilled hope of a brighter future and captured the imagination in a way only predecessors Kevin Keegan and Sir Bobby Robson have done in the recent past.

Is there a Plan B?

Not for the supporters because Rafa leaving would be unthinkable. The lack of an agreement between Ashley and Rafa has seen the likes of Lyon manager Bruno Genesio, AC Milan's Gennaro Gattuso and former United States coach Jurgen Klinsmann linked with the club.

That must be seen as Plan B, no matter how much the fans are against it. However, Ashley and Charnley remain focused on striking a deal with the present incumbent and are not currently searching for a possible replacement.

Is time an issue?

The clock is running down with Benitez's contract due to expire on June 30. The manager has had to make preparations for pre-season, with the club due to take part in the Premier League Asia Trophy in China in July, but will not want to waste precious time in the truncated summer transfer window should he opt to stay.

NEWCASTLE UNITED

Liverpool (H)
Fulham (A)

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BRIGHTON 1 NEWCASTLE 1 (Perez)
Dubravka, Manquillo, Schär, Fernandez, Dummett, Ritchie, Pérez (Kenedy 33), Shelvey (Ki Sung-yueng 73), Hayden, Atsu (Muto 81), Rondón
Subs: Diamé, Yedlin, Barreca, Darlow

NEWCASTLE 3 SOUTHAMPTON 1 (Perez 3)
Dubravka, Manquillo, Schär (Fernandez 69), Lascelles, Dummett, Ritchie, Pérez, Ki Sung-yueng, Hayden (Diamé 78), Almirón (Atsu 64), Rondón
Subs: Shelvey, Muto, Yedlin, Darlow

LEICESTER 0 NEWCASTLE 1 (Perez)
Dubravka, Manquillo, Schär, Lascelles, Dummett, Ritchie, Pérez, Hayden, Ki Sung-yueng (Diamé 82), Almirón (Atsu 78), Rondón
Subs: Shelvey, Muto, Fernandez, Yedlin, Darlow

NEWCASTLE 0 CRYSTAL PALACE 1
Dubravka, Yedlin, Schär, Lascelles, Lejeune (Dummett 65), Ritchie (Atsu 90), Pérez, Hayden, Ki Sung-yueng (Shelvey 76), Almirón, Rondón
Subs: Muto, Fernandez, Manquillo, Darlow

ARSENAL 2 NEWCASTLE 0
Dubravka, Yedlin, Lejeune, Lascelles, Dummett, Ritchie (Kenedy 75), Pérez (Muto 77), Hayden (Ki Sung-yueng 67), Diamé, Almirón, Rondón
Subs: Shelvey, Fernandez, Manquillo, Darlow

NEWCASTLE 3 EVERTON 2 (Rondon, Perez 2)
Dubravka, Schär, Lascelles (Dummett 45), Lejeune, Yedlin, Hayden, Ki Sung-yueng (Shelvey 79), Ritchie (Kenedy 73), Pérez, Rondón, Almirón
Subs: Diamé, Manquillo, Joselu, Darlow

WEST HAM 2 NEWCASTLE 0
Dubravka, Manquillo, Schär (Dummett 65), Lascelles, Lejeune, Ritchie, Pérez, Longstaff (Diamé 45), Hayden (Atsu 79), Almirón, Rondón
Subs: Ki Sung-yueng, Muto, Yedlin, Darlow

NEWCASTLE 2 BURNLEY 0 (Schar, Longstaff)
Dubravka, Manquillo, Schär, Lascelles, Lejeune, Ritchie, Pérez (Joselu 87), Hayden, Longstaff (Diamé 85), Almirón (Dummett 80), Rondón
Subs: Ki Sung-yueng, Yedlin, Darlow, Atsu

NEWCASTLE 2 HUDDERSFIELD 0 (Rondon, Perez)
Dubravka, Yedlin, Schär, Lascelles, Lejeune, Ritchie (Kenedy 68), Pérez, Hayden, Longstaff, Almirón (Atsu 81), Rondón (Joselu 84)
Subs: Dummett, Ki Sung-yueng, Manquillo, Woodman

SPURS 1 NEWCASTLE 0
Dubravka, Yedlin, Schär, Lascelles, Lejeune, Ritchie (Barreca 86), Pérez, Longstaff, Hayden, Atsu (Kenedy 82), Rondón
Subs: Clark, Fernandez, Manquillo, Joselu, Woodman

NEWCASTLE 2 MAN CITY 1 (Rondon, Ritchie (p))
Dubravka, Yedlin, Schär, Lascelles, Lejeune, Ritchie, Pérez (Manquillo 90+1), Hayden, Longstaff, Atsu (Kenedy 87), Rondón
Subs: Clark, Murphy, Fernandez, Roberts, Woodman

FAC NEWCASTLE 0 WATFORD 2 
Woodman, Manquillo, Fernandez (Schär 81), Lascelles, Clark, Ritchie (Atsu 73), Murphy (Pérez 72), Hayden, Longstaff, Kenedy, Joselu
Subs: Rondón, Dubravka, Lejeune, Yedlin, Atsu

FAC BLACKBURN 2 NEWCASTLE 4 AET (Longstaff, Roberts, Joselu, Perez)
Woodman, Sterry, Fernandez, Clark (Lascelles 45- Substituted for Hayden 57), Manquillo, Schär, Murphy, Longstaff, Roberts (Pérez 94), Ritchie (Atsu 109), Joselu
Subs: Rondón, Yedlin, Harker

NEWCASTLE 3 CARDIFF 0 (Schär 2, Perez)
Dubravka, Yedlin, Schär, Lascelles, Lejeune, Ritchie (Manquillo 85), Pérez, Hayden, Longstaff, Atsu, Rondón
Subs: Clark, Murphy, Joselu, Sterry, Roberts, Woodman

CHELSEA 2 NEWCASTLE 1 (Clark)
Dubravka, Yedlin (Manquillo 82), Lejeune, Lascelles, Clark, Ritchie, Pérez (Murphy 82), Longstaff, Hayden, Atsu, Rondón
Subs: Schär, Fernandez, Joselu, Sterry, Woodman

FAC NEWCASTLE 1 BLACKBURN 1 (Ritchie pen)
Woodman, Sterry, Schär, Lejeune, Manquillo, Murphy (Atsu 75), Hayden (Shelvey 57), Longstaff (Pérez 80), Ritchie, Kenedy, Joselu
Subs: Clark, Rondón, Yedlin, Harker

NEWCASTLE 0 MAN UTD 2
Dubravka, Yedlin, Schär (Muto 81), Lascelles, Ritchie, Pérez (Kenedy 69), Hayden, Diamé (Shelvey 53), Atsu, Rondón
Subs: Manquillo, Lejeune, Joselu, Woodman

WATFORD 1 NEWCASTLE 1 (Rondon)
Dubravka, Yedlin, Fernandez (Schär 45), Lascelles, Dummett, Ritchie, Pérez, Hayden (Shelvey 79), Diamé, Atsu, Rondón
Subs: Murphy, Muto, Manquillo, Joselu, Woodman

LIVERPOOL 4 NEWCASTLE 0
Dubravka, Yedlin, Fernandez, Lascelles, Dummett, Ritchie (Murphy 80), Hayden, Diamé, Kenedy (Longstaff 73), Muto, Joselu
Subs: Schär, Rondón, Pérez, Manquillo, Woodman

NEWCASTLE 0 FULHAM 0
Dubravka, Manquillo (Yedlin 84), Schär, Lascelles, Dummett, Ritchie, Atsu (Kenedy 72), Ki Sung-yueng, Diamé, Pérez, Rondón
Subs: Muto, Hayden, Fernandez, Joselu, Woodman

HUDDERSFIELD 0 NEWCASTLE 1 (Rondon)
Dubravka, Schär, Lascelles, Clark, Manquillo, Diamé, Ki Sung-yueng (Hayden 72), Atsu, Kenedy (Dummett), Pérez, Rondón (Ritchie 81)
Subs: Murphy, Muto, Joselu, Woodman

NEWCASTLE 1 WOLVES 2 (Perez)
Dubravka, Lascelles, Fernandez (Manquillo 45), Clark, Yedlin, Diamé, Ki Sung-yueng, Atsu (Kenedy 89), Ritchie, Pérez, Rondón (Joselu 86)
Subs: Dummett, Muto, Longstaff, Woodman

EVERTON 1 NEWCASTLE 1 (Rondon)
Dubravka, Yedlin, Schär, Lascelles, Fernandez, Manquillo, Atsu, Diamé, Ki Sung-yueng, Murphy (Pérez 64), Rondón (Joselu 74)
Subs: Clark, Shelvey, Muto, Longstaff, Woodman

NEWCASTLE 0 WEST HAM 3
Dubravka, Yedlin, Schär, Fernandez, Manquillo, Ritchie (Atsu 54), Diamé, Ki Sung-yueng, Kenedy (Shelvey 70), Pérez (Joselu 78), Rondón
Subs: Clark, Lascelles, Longstaff, Woodman

BURNLEY 1 NEWCASTLE 2 (Mee OG, Clark)
Dubravka, Yedlin, Schär, Fernandez, Clark, Ritchie, Kenedy (Hayden 90), Diamé, Ki Sung-yueng, Pérez, Rondón (Joselu 71)
Subs: Murphy, Shelvey, Manquillo, Atsu, Woodman

NEWCASTLE 2 BOURNEMOUTH 1 (Rondon 2)
Dubravka, Yedlin, Schär, Fernandez, Dummett, Ritchie (Hayden 74), Ki Sung-yueng, Diamé (Atsu 80), Kenedy (Clark 78), Pérez, Rondón
Subs: Clark, Murphy, Manquillo, Joselu, Darlow

NEWCASTLE 1 WATFORD 0 (Perez)
Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles (Schär 45), Fernandez, Dummett, Ritchie, Shelvey (Ki Sung-yueng 51), Diamé, Kenedy, Muto (Pérez 45+2), Rondón
Subs: Manquillo, Joselu, Darlow, Atsu

SOUTHAMPTON 0 NEWCASTLE 0
Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles, Fernandez, Dummett, Ritchie, Shelvey, Diamé (Ki Sung-yueng 76), Kenedy, Pérez (Rondón 69), Muto (Atsu 80)
Subs: Schär, Manquillo, Joselu, Darlow

NEWCASTLE 0 BRIGHTON 1
Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles, Fernandez, Dummett, Ritchie, Shelvey, Diamé, Kenedy, Pérez, Muto (Joselu 74)
Subs: Schär, Murphy, Hayden, Manquillo, Darlow, Atsu

MAN UTD 3 NEWCASTLE 2 (Kenedy, Muto)
Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles, Fernandez, Manquillo, Ritchie, Shelvey, Diamé, Kenedy (Murphy 68), Pérez (Joselu 88), Muto (Atsu 78)
Subs: Schär, Hayden, Darlow

NEWCASTLE 0 LEICESTER 2
Dubravka, Yedlin (Manquillo 80), Lascelles, Clark, Kenedy, Ritchie (Murphy 65), Diamé, Shelvey, Atsu, Pérez (Muto 69), Joselu
Subs: Schär, Hayden, Darlow, Longstaff

CRYSTAL PALACE 0 NEWCASTLE 0
Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles, Fernandez, Dummett, Ritchie (Atsu 73), Diamé, Shelvey, Kenedy, Pérez (Muto 81), Rondón (Joselu 45)
Subs: Clark, Ki Sung-yueng, Manquillo, Darlow

NEWCASTLE 1 ARSENAL 2 (Clark)
Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles (Clark 45), Fernandez, Dummett, Ritchie (Muto 79), Hayden, Diamé, Murphy (Kenedy 69), Pérez, Joselu
Subs: Shelvey, Rondón, Manquillo, Dar

MAN CITY 2 NEWCASTLE 1 (Yedlin)
Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles, Fernandez, Clark (Murphy 81), Dummett, Kenedy (Atsu 54), Diamé, Ki Sung-yueng, Pérez, Rondón (Joselu 73)
Subs: Muto, Sterry, Darlow, Longstaff

NOTTINGHAM FOR 3 NEWCASTLE 1 (Rondon)
Darlow, Sterry, Schär, Fernandez (Pérez 69), Clark, Atsu, Longstaff, Ki Sung-yueng, Kenedy, Muto (Murphy 77), Joselu (Rondón 82)
Subs: Elliot, Dummett, Diamé, Yedlin

NEWCASTLE 1 CHELSEA 2 (Joselu)
Dubravka, Yedlin, Schär (Muto 79), Fernandez, Clark, Dummett, Ritchie, Diamé, Ki Sung-yueng, Murphy (Pérez 73), Rondón (Joselu 62)
Subs: Sterry, Darlow, Atsu, Longstaff

CARDIFF 0 NEWCASTLE 0
Dubravka, Manquillo (Hayden 45), Lascelles, Clark, Dummett, Ritchie (Murphy 70), Shelvey, Diamé, Kenedy, Pérez (Muto 65), Joselu
Subs: Ki Sung-yueng, Rondón, Fernandez, Darlow

NEWCASTLE 1 TOTTENHAM 2 (Joselu)
Dubravka, Yedlin (90+2), Lascelles, Clark, Dummett, Ritchie (Atsu 69), Shelvey, Diamé, Kenedy, Pérez (Muto 81),Joselu (Rondón 59)
Subs: Ki Sung-yueng, Schär, Manquillo, Darlow