Danny Mills says he knows Sunderland have fight, but is unsure about Newcastle.
Newcastle are in 19th place in the Premier League, and it looks likely one if not both of them and rivals Sunderland will go down.
Mills says he feels that Sunderland have the fighting qualities they need in order to survive, but is unsure if Newcastle's players have the same attributes.
He said: "I think they’ll scrap to get themselves out of trouble. Do Newcastle have that ethic? They certainly didn’t under McClaren but they might under Rafa Benitez. He has to change the mentality of the players very quickly and it’s really a question of whether he has enough time to do that.
"It’s quite possible Newcastle could win four or five games. They’re yet to play Norwich, Swansea, Palace and Villa. Win those and they’re safe. There’s quite a few six-pointers left to play but I think it will go right down to the wire. One thing’s for sure, Rafa won’t manage a Newcastle side in the Championship.”
Newcvastle travel to Norwich City this weekend, hoping to drag the Canaries deeper into the relegation battle. A loss would be unthinkable for Benitez's side.
The Spaniard has one point from his opening two games as manager since taking over from Steve McClaren earlier this month.
Sunderland face West Bromwich Albion, whose recent good run of form has seen them rise to 11th place in the Premier League table.