Rafael Benitez insists he is not worried by Newcastle's 46-game season after fixtures released

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez during the press conference

Newcastle will travel to Fulham in an opening-day clash which is live on TV.

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez during the press conference

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez has told the club's official website that he is not concerned about the club's hectic Championship schedule after the fixtures were released on Wednesday.

Kicking off their first second-tier season since 2009-10, the Magpies will begin their campaign with a trip down to London to face Fulham at Craven Cottage in a match which will be broadcast live on television.

That gets the ball rolling on an arduous 46-game term for the Tyneside club as they look to bounce back from the crushing disappointment of a second relegation in the space of just eight years.

Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez

However, Benitez, who has not managed in the second tier of any country in over 15 years, insists he is not overawed with the challenge ahead and remained bullish about the gruelling schedule that his side will face.

The Spanish boss told the club's website: "I am not the kind of manager who is really worried about the fixtures and our rivals. My idea is that you have to play against everyone, and when you will play against them doesn't change too much in theory.

Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez

"You can say that we will play against Fulham in the first game, away and live [on TV] but it doesn't change too much for me. Will it be difficult? Yes. Do we have to respect them? Yes. But the main thing is how good will we be this day, and how good we have to be during the whole season."

Newcastle, along with fellow relegated side Aston Villa, are sure to be one of the teams which every opponent wants to beat, and they have the added pressure of their opening fixture being the one to kick off the entire season on the Friday night ahead of the rest of the weekend games.

Last time out the Magpies bounced straight back to the Premier League in style after being relegated, but it remains to be seen how their current squad of stars will cope in the grittier division next term.

Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez

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