Former Manager Gives His View On Newcastle Survival

It’s certainly not going to be easy to keep Newcastle in the Premier League this season, but if anybody can do it it’s Rafa Benitez and one of the few things that Newcastle have done right this season – maybe the only thing – is to get Rafa Benitez in after the Board finally sacked Steve McClaren.

But they waited far too long to sack the man they had appointed last June and whom Managing Director Lee Charnley had said was the perfect head coach for Newcastle.

How wrong can you be.

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Kevin Keegan – Rafa a really good appointment

Kevin Keegan was speaking today during a visit to Tyneside for a charity auction in support of the Chronicle’s charity the Sunshine Fund.

This is what the 65 year-old told the Chronicle, starting with the appointment of Rafa Benitez two weeks ago:

“It’s a really good appointment. He will keep them up but it won’t be easy. Newcastle have got some home games that are winnable.

“This break is pretty good for him because it gives him a lot of time to work with players but of course a lot of the players will be away so in some ways it is a double whammy.”

”I think Newcastle were going down without making the change, to be honest, with the greatest respect to Steve McClaren.”

“I have looked at the fixtures, and they have got to win these home games. Anything they get away from home, like at Norwich and teams around them, will be a bonus.”

“It looks to me like Norwich, Aston Villa and either Sunderland or Newcastle are going to go down.”

We were definitely going down if Steve McClaren had stayed on board even though he kept telling us all – as he had from the start of the season – that it would all be OK – it was just going to take time.

Yeah right.

Rafa Benitez now has very little time to put things right, after we have been in the bottom four nearly all season long.

But we need to start playing a lot better than we have been – and start to pick some points (and wins) away from home.

A win at Norwich City a week tomorrow is really what we need and would convince fans we can survive.

That would avoid what would be a tragic and catastrophic relegation for the club – brought on by the sheer incompetence of those running the club from the top.

Comments welcome.