Benitez: I'm ready for Championship challenge


Rafael Benitez insists he possesses the necessary experience to guide Newcastle United back up to the Premier League next season. 

Benitez took over at St James' Park in March on an initial three-year deal, which included a clause allowing him to leave Newcastle should they drop down to the Championship.

However, despite seeing the side finish in 18th and subsequently being relegated from the Premier League, Benitez committed his future to Newcastle, putting pen to paper on a new three-year contract on Wednesday.

The Spaniard has spent several years managing big clubs in European top-flight leagues, with questions remaining over his ability to bring a team up from the second tier.

But Benitez ensured he will have enough help available to do well next season, including a few Championship-experienced players.

"I know that some people will say I lack experience there, but I started in the second division in Spain," the 56-year-old said.

"My teams have played teams in the FA Cup, the Capital One Cup, so we know the league. We have seen a lot of games and we have some players who have played in the Championship before.

"So we have information, but obviously we have to perform, and then you [pundits] will say, 'Hmm.... maybe.'

"If we win the first game then you will say we have a good team, if we lose you will say it's because I have no experience in the Championship. But that is football.

"I think we have enough information, enough people with experience - we will talk with them, and maybe we will bring in players were experience in the Championship.

"The main thing is to do the right things and to work hard every single week."