By North-east correspondent Harry Sykes

David Ginola has brought Newcastle back down to earth after their derby comeback by claiming the best thing for the club this season would be Premier League relegation.

Rafael Benitez’s team came from behind to rescue a point in a 1-1 draw with bitter rivals Sunderland on Sunday to keep alive hopes of maintaining their top-flight status.

The result left Newcastle 19th in the Premier League table and three points from safety.

With eight matches remaining, and a trip to face relegation rivals Norwich on the horizon, the Magpies will face a nervy end to see if they can avoid the drop.

Former Newcastle winger Ginola is convinced that a return to the Championship would be a positive step for the club.

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Speaking on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast show on Monday, Ginola said: “I would like to see Newcastle stay in the Premier League, but on the other hand I think going down to the Championship could be good for the club.

“They need to go back to scratch, they need to start all over again. For many years Newcastle has been in a situation like this and at some stage they need to realise that things need to be dealt with properly.

Alex the great: Mitrovic scored a late equaliser in the derby
Alex the great: Mitrovic scored a late equaliser in the derby

“They’ve brought in Rafael Benitez, but if they’re relegated at the end of the season he will go. Who is going to be their next manager?

“So please Newcastle United, let’s go down to the Championship! Let’s start again, let’s have a manager for the next five years, let’s work on the academy and bring some talents from the academy into the first-team.

“Forget about just trying to stay in the Premier League. If you do this, you’re going to be stronger over the next five years.”

In other Newcastle news, Aleksander Mitrovic has been compared by Jamie Carragher to one of the club’s greatest-ever players.