Benitez hailed as top manager by Newcastle legend

Former Newcastle United midfielder Terry McDermott has lavished praise on current Magpies boss Rafael Benitez.

Benitez took charge of Newcastle in March 2016, and although the Spaniard could not prevent the Magpies from being relegated from the Premier League during the 2015-16 season, he led the club back into the top flight at the first time of asking.

The 57-year-old has also overseen a positive start to the 2017-18 campaign, with Newcastle collecting 10 points from their first seven Premier League fixtures to sit in ninth position in the table.

McDermott, who played for Newcastle in two separate spells in addition to acting as assistant manager for a combined nine years, has called Benitez the ‘great one’ for his work in the managerial game.

McDermott told Newcastle’s official website:

“He’s a top manager, isn’t he? He’s not just any manager; Jose (Mourinho) keeps saying he’s the ‘special one’, but I think Rafa is the ‘great one’, because he has been a great over the years. I just hope he’s going to be here for the long haul.”

Benitez started his managerial career with Real Madrid B back in 1993, and has since taken charge of the likes of Valencia, Liverpool, Inter Milan, Chelsea, Napoli and Real Madrid.

Newcastle will look to continue their strong start to the new Premier League season when they travel to Southampton after the international break.