Rafael Benitez sends warning to Newcastle, explains why Championship will be so different now

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez during the press conference

The Magpies boss says the club will find a completely different landscape in the second tier seven years after their last experience of the division.

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez during the press conference

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez has sent a dire warning to his players ahead of their Championship season opener, suggesting that the division is unrecognisable when compared with the club's last experience of the division seven years ago, via the Chronicle.

The Magpies face Fulham tonight in their first match of a marathon 46-game campaign as they look to repeat their success of 2009-10 by bouncing back to the Premier League at the first attempt.

That year, Newcastle won the Championship at a canter, registering 102 and finishing 11 points clear of their nearest rivals West Bromwich Albion after losing just four time all season.

General view of a poster of new Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez outside the ground

There is optimism at St. James' Park that that success can be repeated this term, but Benitez has moved to dampen expectations, stressing that it will be a far more difficult this time around as the landscape of the division has completely changed.

The Spanish boss told the Chronicle: "I have said many times the Championship is very difficult; there’s a lot of good teams. People are saying it will be the same [as 2009/10] but it is very different now; a lot of rich owners spending big money.

Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez

"The prize of the Premier League is so big in terms of TV money, that everyone is spending and wanting to be sure to have a chance. It is not easy.

"Last time, Newcastle had players of character, strong mentally and physically, and we are bringing in players to make sure we can adapt to the Championship, but we are at the beginning about our style of football."

Benitez has certainly been pro-active in the transfer window this summer as he looks to prepare his side for the season ahead.

He has made eight new signings, spending just shy of £50 million on new players, and will be desperate to get off to a winning start tonight.

Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez

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