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Mike Ashley says Newcastle fans are stuck with him as owner

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley says fans angry with his tenure have no choice in the matter.

Ashley has been the target of a number of negative banners in recent weeks as the club fights against relegation from the Premier League.

But the Sports Direct magnate has remained defiant, telling fans that his leadership will not be changing.

"I've got no choice -- I went into Newcastle like Sports Direct -- they've got me and I've got them. That's just the way it is," he told Sky Sports.

Newcastle earned a 1-1 draw in Sunday's Tyne-Wear derby against Sunderland, Rafa Benitez's second game in charge after his debut defeat at Premier League leaders Leicester City.

The Magpies remain three points from safety behind 17th-placed Norwich, with a game in hand.

But with eight games remaining, Ashley said he believes Benitez gives Newcastle a firm chance to stay up.

"I think we've got the right man in the job," Ashley said. "If there's any chance of us staying up -- let's hope Rafa can do the business and keep us up."

However, he was still upset not to claim all three points against their locals rivals.

"It's disappointing, because I personally want to win every game at Newcastle United," he said.

"It doesn't matter who we're playing -- it doesn't matter if it's a friendly. But, yes, I wanted us to win and I'm a little disappointed. But it's not a disaster."