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Newcastle United player singles out key individual following promotion

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Speaking to Sky Sports, Newcastle United goalkeeper Rob Elliot has praised the influence of Rafa Benitez at St James’ Park this season, insisting he deserves all the praise he is given.

Benitez opted to remain in the North-East at the end of the 2015/16 campaign, despite Newcastle’s relegation to the Sky Bet Championship.

The former Real Madrid boss has led the Magpies to promotion in the Championship during his first full season at St James’ Park.

Monday’s 4-1 victory over Preston North End confirmed Newcastle’s top-flight return, and Elliot was one of many to praise Benitez, he said:

“He deserves every plaudit. It’s been tough for him. He’s come from Real Madrid to manage Newcastle in the Championship, expected to win the league, expected to go up without losing a game and it doesn’t work like that.

“He’s been brilliant. He’s kept himself calm, he’s kept the players calm. Being around the place, there is a much more positive atmosphere. When we have lost, we have bounced back straight away.”

Victory over Preston kept Newcastle’s chances of securing the Championship title alive, with the Magpies now just four-points behind leaders Brighton and Hove Albion.

Benitez’s side face Cardiff City and Barnsley in their remaining two fixtures of the season, knowing they need to better Brighton’s result on two occasions if they are to overhaul to Seagulls at the top of the league.

Newcastle fans… How much credit does Benitez deserve for what he has achieved this season? Let us know in the comments!


Alfie is a journalist based in Yorkshire with years of experience covering the EFL. A current focus on Huddersfield Town and their fortunes back in the Championship, but out and about at as many games as possible. Covered Leeds United during their promotion-winning season in 2019/20.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Newcastle United player singles out key individual following promotion

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