Rafa Benitez has what it takes to keep Newcastle up, says Kevin Keegan

Former Toon boss believes the Spaniard is an excellent appointment

Tom Sheen@Tom_Sheen
Saturday 26 March 2016 16:01
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<b>Kevin Keegan (Newcastle United, 16 January 2008 - 4 September 2008)</b><br/>
Newcastle chairman Mike Ashley delighted fans when he announced 'the Messiah's' sensational return as manager. Keegan, despite his own admission that he hadn't been watching much football since he left Manchester City three years earlier, did reasonably well with a poor team when he finished 12th in his first season. He resigned just four weeks into his second, citing disputes with the board over transfer policy. Newcastle would be relegated at the end of the season.
Kevin Keegan (Newcastle United, 16 January 2008 - 4 September 2008)
Newcastle chairman Mike Ashley delighted fans when he announced 'the Messiah's' sensational return as manager. Keegan, despite his own admission that he hadn't been watching much football since he left Manchester City three years earlier, did reasonably well with a poor team when he finished 12th in his first season. He resigned just four weeks into his second, citing disputes with the board over transfer policy. Newcastle would be relegated at the end of the season.

Former Newcastle United manager Kevin Keegan believes new boss Rafael Benitez will be able to keep the club in the Premier League.

Keegan, the former England manager and winner of successive Ballon d'Ors as a player, is a hugely popular figure on Tyneside after playing for the club at the end of his career and for two spells in charge in the 1990s and 2008.

The 65-year-old, who almost led Newcastle to the Premier League title in 1996, believes that Benitez has what it takes to beat the drop.

Newcastle United boss Rafa Benitez

"It’s a really good appointment. He will keep them up but it won’t be easy," he told the Newcastle Chronicle. "They have got some home games that are winnable. This break is pretty good for him because it gives him a lot of time to work with players but of course a lot of the players will be away so in some ways it is a double whammy."

Keegan also had his say on former manager Steve McClaren and picked the three clubs he thinks will go down.

"I think Newcastle were going down without making the change, to be honest, with the greatest respect to Steve McClaren,” he added. “I have looked at the fixtures, and they have got to win these home games. Anything they get away from home, like at Norwich and teams around them, will be a bonus.

"It looks to me like Norwich, Aston Villa and either Sunderland or Newcastle are going to go down."

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