Steve McClaren says Benitez has an advantage over him at Newcastle

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez during the press conference

Steve McClaren hopes Rafael Benitez succeeds where he failed at Newcastle United.

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez during the press conference

Quoted by The Mail, former Newcastle United boss Steve McClaren has suggested that his successor on Tyneside Rafael Benitez may have a big advantage that he did not have.

McClaren was sacked by Newcastle in March after an ill-fated nine-month spell in charge of the Magpies, who had won just six Premier League games under his reign.

Results did improve under Benitez, but it appears as if the damage had already been done as United finished 18th in the table, resulting in relegation into the Championship.

The Champions League-winning manager confirmed that he would be staying with the North-East club despite his status as an elite coach, and McClaren believes a change in transfer policy will serve him well.

The ex-England boss claims that he was unable to sign players over the age of 25, which might well be true as seven of his eight permanent signings were under the age of 25, the only exception being Henri Saviet, who is that age now.

"They've decided to go with Rafa Benitez and I hope they've allowed him control of everything," he said via The Mail.

"Most importantly he can control recruitment and maybe change the policy of the time which was only recruiting players under 25 and I think that restricted the recruitment process.

"You need experience and that wasn't possible, and I think with Rafa being in there he will be allowed to take control."

McClaren may not have been allowed sign players under the age of 25, forcing him to rely on inexperienced players to some extent, but the 55-year-old certainly had a big budget, having spent upwards of £80 million across two transfer windows.

Newcastle manager Steve McClaren

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for NEWCASTLE UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch