By Amir Mir
Alan Pardew believes Newcastle must “keep” manager Rafa Benitez and sign a “couple of big stars” if they want to avoid relegation from the Premier League next season.
The Magpies secured instant promotion back to the top tier of English football when they beat Preston North End on home soil last month.
Now, they will go into their final Championship match of the season against Barnsley on Sunday hoping to win the league title ahead of Brighton.
There will be huge expectations at St James’ Park upon their return to the Premier League next term despite only recently securing promotion.
Speaking to Monday Night Football, which aired on Sky Sports 1 (1 May), Pardew offered his thoughts on his former clubs return to the promise land.
“I think Newcastle will stay in the Premier League if they can keep Rafa Benitez,” Pardew told Sky Sports.
“They have got the home power, you just have got to add a few players to that squad and a couple of big stars. They should have enough.”
There are a number of players currently in the Newcastle squad, who have played in the top flight before.
The likes of Jonjo Shelvey, Ciaran Clark, Dwight Gayle and Matt Ritchie have all tasted Premier League football.
The experienced quartet played a big part in the club’s promotion, with striker Gayle scoring 22 goals during his injury-hit season.
He was a big-money signing from the Premier League last summer, with then Crystal Palace manager Pardew allowing him to move to the north east.
Added with that Ritchie and Shelvey have provided the creativity, while Clark built a solid partnership alongside Jamaal Lascelles at the heart of the club’s defence.
In other Newcastle news, Tim Sherwood has hit out at the Toon Army supporters.