Newcastle United to struggle in the Championship, predicts Joey Barton

The Magpies replaced Steve McClaren with Rafa Benitez on Friday.

Newcastle United will struggle to bounce back to the Premier League from the Championship, Joey Barton has predicted to Sportsweek and reported by the Shield’s Gazette.

The Magpies find themselves in a relegation battle again his season, currently sitting in the bottom three with just eight games of the campaign remaining.

That has seen Steve McClaren sacked and replaced by former Liverpool and Real Madrid manager Rafa Benitez as they try desperately to avoid relegation.

It is going to be a tough fight in the games remaining, and Barton has warned that they may find it tough to bounce back immediately from the Championship.

“It would be an absolute travesty if a club of Newcastle's size and tradition were to drop into the Championship again” the Shield’s Gazette reports him saying.

“I look into the dressing room now and there are a lot of foreign players. I just don't see the same core that will be in place to help them bounce straight back out of the Championship.

"It's difficult, it is very, very difficult because of the transition between the two leagues. You just wonder how young foreign players handle that because it will be an absolute culture shock for them."

First and foremost, it will be interesting to see how many of the current squad would remain at Newcastle should they be relegated.

They would likely have to significantly reduce their wage bill in the division and that could see a whole host of departures as a result.

Similarly, given how poor many of their squad have performed this season, the Magpies may be keen to get rid of some and start with a clean slate regardless.

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