Eddie Gray says Championship teams playing for second behind Newcastle United

Newcastle Fans 3

Eddie Gray believes Newcastle United already have first place sewn up.

Former Scotland international Eddie Gray has told Radio Yorkshire that the rest of the Championship are playing for second place behind Newcastle United.

Gray, who twice won the old first division title with Leeds United in the 1970s, believes there is a determination at Newcastle to put right their relegation which spells trouble for the rest of the division.

Speaking to the station at 8pm on Wednesday, Gray said: "Newcastle have the rest of teams are battling for one automatic spot.

"Their owner came out and apologised to the fans, and you don't see Mike Ashley do that too much. He said that [relegation] wasn't good enough and they are going to put it right. They are a powerful club."

Gray is still involved with Leeds United and works for LUTV, and is fearful that his side will be unable to compete with Newcastle, criticising the club's current squad as 'mediocre'.

Newcastle spent £80 million last season and their relegation came as a surprise, but the appointment of Rafa Benitez with eight games to go gave them a slim chance.

Results ultimately went against them, but Benitez's side sent a message as his side demolished Tottenham 5-1 on the last day of the season, and if they can hang onto the Spaniard then they will stand a good chance of also keeping their best players.

Register for NEWCASTLE UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch