Kevin Keegan offers early assessment on Rafael Benitez

Rafa Benitez

Kevin Keegan has stated that Newcastle United boss Rafael Benitez represents a good signing, and says the club were heading down under Steve McClaren.

Newcastle United legend Kevin Keegan has claimed to The Chronicle that Rafael Benitez is a "really good appointment".

The Spaniard replaced Steve McClaren on Tyneside two weeks ago and, despite still waiting for his first win, the consensus seems to be that the Magpies are heading in the right direction.

His first game was a 1-0 defeat away to Premier League leaders Leicester City, before Newcastle battled back to earn a 1-1 draw with relegation rivals Sunderland last weekend.

Both results stopped the rot of heavy defeats seen under McClaren toward the end of his spell, with United shipping 12 goals in their final five league matches under the former England boss.

“It’s a really good appointment. He will keep them up but it won’t be easy," Former Newcastle boss and player Keegan said to The Chronicle.

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

 

Despite the promising early signs under Benitez, Newcastle remain very much in the thick of a relegation scrap.

 

The Spaniard's men sit 19th in the Premier League table, three points behind 17th-placed Norwich City - who they face at Carrow Road next weekend - but they do, however, have a game in hand.

 

It remains a tough ask, but the 55-year-old will fancy his chances of succeeding in the North East.

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