Sunderland hero Michael Gray makes Newcastle admission, gives verdict on Benitez

Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez

Former Sunderland player Michael Gray wants Newcastle United back in the Premier League.

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez during the press conference

Sunderland hero Michael Gray says he wants Newcastle United back in the Premier League and admits in Rafa Benitez they have the right manager in charge, the Daily Star report.

The Magpies suffered relegation to the Championship last term, largely as a result of Sunderland’s excellent late run of form which condemned Newcastle to the drop before the ultimate game of the campaign.

Having said that, there appears plenty of positivity around St. James’ Park and the news that Rafa Benitez was to remain in charge of the club sent out a clear message of their upcoming intentions.

Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez

Gray, speaking to the Daily Star, felt Newcastle could have avoided the drop had Benitez arrived earlier and admits despite of the Wear-Tyne rivalry he wants the Toon Army back on the top-light.

“Newcastle’s downfall was not replacing Steve McClaren a little bit earlier. I saw the performances against Manchester City and Tottenham and they were breathtaking. He’s the right man – the Newcastle public took to him straight away,” Gray explained.

“They’ve certainly got the right man in charge and the Premier League will be a better place with Sunderland and Newcastle in it. And I know people might read this and think that I don’t mean it, but I really do hope that they get back in the Premier League."

General view outside St James' Park

Making an immediate return to the Premier League has often been a tough task for relegated sides, yet there is no doubt Newcastle currently have the staff and players on board to bounce back in style.

The last time the Magpies were in the Championship they romped to promotion with 102 points, and this time around they arguably have a better squad and more fire-power at their disposal.

Andros Townsend scores the first goal for Newcastle

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