By Aramide Oladipo
Former Welsh international Ian Rush claims that manager Rafael Benitez and the Newcastle fans will play a massive part in helping the club survive in the Premier League next season.
But the former striker, who ended his career with a stint at St James’ Park, urged Benitez to buy the “three or four players” needed to thrive in the top flight.
Newcastle United achieved automatic promotion with two games remaining and they clinched the Championship title on the final day of the season after beating Barnsley 3-0 at St James’ Park.
It will be Benitez’s second full season in charge at the club and it will be the first time since the 2009/10 season that the 57-year-old will lead out a Premier League side from the outset.
Speaking to BBC Radio Presenter Paul Gough, as quoted in the Evening Chronicle, Ian Rush believes that Benitez’ experience in the Premier League will help Newcastle maintain their status in the top flight.
“He’s done a great job,” he said.
“It doesn’t matter how big a club you are, the hardest thing is to get back in the Premier League – and he’s done it.
“I’m sure with his experience at Liverpool, knowing what it’s like to be successful in the Premier League, he needs three or four players.
“I’m sure under Rafa Benitez they’ll survive.”
Benitez enjoyed a successful six year stay at Anfield as he won the Champions League in his first season in charge and he also brought them FA Cup success the following the season.
He left the Merseyside club at the end of the 2009/10 season where he failed to achieve a top four finish.
Rush was also quick to point that out the St James’ Park atmosphere will help the Magpies in their bid to survive in the Premier League next season.
“If he can do that, I’m sure he’ll be a success, because one thing for certain is that the crowd will be there, they’ll sell-out every week and it’ll be a great atmosphere there.”
He concluded: “Liverpool supporters were fantastic but so are Newcastle fans; all they want is 100 per cent – if you lose, then they’ll hold their hand up.