By Wayne Veysey

24th Apr, 2017 | 7:34am

Jamie Carragher has sly dig at Newcastle ahead of clash against Preston

By Harry Sykes

Jamie Carragher has had a sly dig at Newcastle’s big spending in the Mail as he paid tribute to Brighton for securing automatic promotion.

High-profile pundit Carragher outlined how the Magpies have had big advantages over the south coast club, including a Champions League-winning manager in Rafael Benitez, a Premier League wage bill and big spending on players.

Newcastle sold Moussa Sissoko, Georginio Wijnaldum and Andros Townsend to Premier League clubs following relegation but invested heavily in their playing squad with the likes of Matt Ritchie and Dwight Gayle secured for £10million-plus fees.

By contrast, Brighton, who have become the 48th team to enter the Premier League, have won promotion ahead of the early-season favourites despite spending far less on players and wages.

Carragher paid tribute to manager Chris Hughton, who also was at the helm at Newcastle from 2008 to 2010 and steered the club to promotion.

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

“Nobody at the club is more deserving than the manager,” Carragher wrote in his weekly Mail column. “The job he has done is remarkable. Brighton’s players would have been shattered by the disappointment they suffered of missing out on promotion 12 months ago and they had to compete with a rival as formidable as Newcastle, who have a Champions League-winning manager.

“Newcastle spent heavily and had a Premier League wage bill to boot but still Brighton would not be kept at bay and Hughton has enabled them to fulfil their ambition.

“I love it when we get a new addition to the top flight and I hope they do well next year. The odds, of course, will be against them but they only need look down the south coast to Bournemouth and see what can be done. They are the perfect example for Brighton to follow.”

Newcastle are next in action on Monday night when they take on Preston at St James’ Park aiming to nail down automatic promotion.

Victory for Benitez’s team will be enough to ensure they cannot be caught by ahead of the other Championship teams.

In other Newcastle news, the club’s big spending is laid bare for the first time in this sensational new document.

We’ve launched a << BREAKING NEWS FEED>> exclusively for your club. ‘Like Us’ on Facebook by clicking here if you want 24/7 updates on all Leeds breaking news.