Andros Townsend predicts Rafael Benitez could turn Newcastle into Premier League challengers

St James Park

The Spaniard is currently deciding whether he wishes to stay following their relegation to the Championship.

Andros Townsend has suggested that with Rafael Benitez at the helm, Newcastle United have the potential to not only get promoted back to the Premier League at the first attempt, but to also establish themselves as contenders in the top flight, the Chronicle reports.

Despite a break clause existing in his contract which allows him to leave the club following relegation, the Chronicle reports that the Spaniard is in talks about remaining with the Magpies as they embark on getting promoted from the Championship at the first time of asking.

And Townsend is not only confident that Benitez will do that if he stays, but he also believes that relegation scraps will be a thing of the past.

"If we can keep a manager of that calibre and keep doing the right things we will build," he told the Chronicle.

"We will not cut corners and we'll build for the future and come straight back in the Premier League.

"And not just in the top flight but up there challenging because that is what the manager wants to do."

Though the former Real Madrid boss was unable to save Newcastle from the drop, he is receiving plenty of credit from fans who believe that he gave them half a chance going into the final weeks of the campaign. 

The club ended the season with a six-match unbeaten run, including a 5-1 victory over Tottenham on the final day, to give the supporters hope that with Benitez at the helm, they have the potential to move themselves away from trouble, even if it takes longer than they would have hoped. 

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