Newcastle and Benitez can be a winning combination, predicts Pistone

Rafael Benitez has replaced Steve McClaren as the Newcastle United boss.

Newcastle United and Rafael Benitez could be a winning combination, former defender Alessandro Pistone has told Tuttomercatoweb.

The Magpies have sacked Steve McClaren and have replaced him with former Liverpool manager Benitez.

McClaren endured a difficult first season in charge at the club, with them currently sitting in the bottom three with just nine games left this season.

“Newcastle is an incredible place,” Pistone told Tuttomercatoweb before Benitez's appointment. “The team is not going through a particularly happy moment but also has a big budget. Perhaps second only to the 3-4 top British clubs.

"I never had him [Benitez] as a coach, but I consider him a very good coach. Unfortunately I do not know about the motivational aspect that is especially important at high levels but I believe that the combination can be a winner."

While there is no denying Benitez’s credentials, the task at hand at Newcastle will certainly be a test of them.

The Spaniard has never found himself in the midst of a relegation battle before having enjoyed relative comfort throughout his managerial career.

Given how badly McClaren has fared this season, though, a change of manager could just provide this current squad with the momentum they need to escape relegation again.

If former Liverpool and Real Madrid boss Benitez can do that, then there is not likely to be many questioning his abilities or whether it was the right move to secure him.

Newcastle will return to Premier League action on Monday evening when they take on Leicester City away from home at the King Power Stadium.

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