Jimmy Bullard warns Rafael Benitez over Championship shock but insists Newcastle can bounce back

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez during the press conference

The former midfielder is concerned that Benitez will be taken aback by brutality of Championship but believes he has what it takes to succeed.

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez during the press conference

Former midfielder Jimmy Bullard has told the Daily Star that Rafael Benitez must prepare himself for the almighty culture shock of life in the Championship, but backed the Spaniard to adapt and put together a side capable of winning the division.

Benitez will manage in the English second tier for the first time in the upcoming season after he was just unable to prevent the Magpies slipping to a relegation which had seemed inevitable for months.

The 56-year-old coach's last experience outside of a European top flight came 16 years ago in Spain when he was cutting his teeth as a manager, and things are likely to be very different this time around.

Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez

Though several first-team stars have pledged their future to Newcastle, numerous players are likely to leave and Benitez will have something of a rebuilding job on his hands this summer,

Though Bullard believes the Spaniard should be bracing himself for what is to come, the former Wigan and Fulham midfielder backed the ex-Liverpool and Real Madrid boss to steer the Tyneside club through the storm.

The 37-year-old told the Daily Star: "I’ve got to say, I’ve been in the Championship probably more than the Premier League and it’s a tough, tough league. What [Benitez] will find is it’s a grind, and it’s a lot of games as well, so he’s going to need a bigger squad than what he’s used to.

Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez before the match

"Newcastle are a huge club and they shouldn’t be going down into the Championship. Once you’re at that sort of level, there isn’t a good 'Championship manager'. It’s not hard to do a little bit homework – and know what sort of team you need to win the Championship.

"I believe that he’ll draft people in to help with that. He’s a great manager and if I’m a chairman of a football club, I want the best manager I can get."

Newcastle have a long summer ahead before the Championship kick-off date in two months' time, and Benitez will know that there is an extraordinary amount of work to be done after signing a three-year deal to remain at the club.

Much of how the club fare next term will depend on how the manager adapts to life in the Championship, and supporters will be praying that his top-flight experience across Europe translates in the lower tier.

Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez applauds fans after the game

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