Newcastle United legend reacts as Magpies secure Premier League return

Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer was quick to congratulate Magpies manager Rafa Benitez and the players via social media as the club secured an immediate return to the Premier League on Monday night.

The side went into their clash against Preston North End at St James’ Park knowing that a win would be enough to see them join Brighton and Hove Albion in achieving promotion to the top flight, and they duly delivered as they beat the 10-man Lilywhites 4-1.

Ayoze Perez opened the scoring in the seventh minute but despite Jordan Hugill equalising shortly after, further goals from Christian Atsu, Matt Ritchie from the penalty spot after Paul Gallagher had been sent off and another from Perez wrapped up the three points for the hosts.

The Premier League’s all-time leading goalscorer – who netted 148 top flight goals for Newcastle – gave his reaction to the promotion via Twitter.

Shearer said: “Congratulations Rafa and well done Newcastle. The Premier League is a better place with the Toon in it. Now the fun begins.”

Despite spending the majority of the campaign in and around the top two, some Toon supporters may have become nervous in recent weeks after the club took just one point from three Championship fixtures prior to the victory against Simon Grayson’s men, but they made no mistake on Monday with an emphatic win.

Benitez will hope that his side can still compete for the title in their remaining two fixtures – starting with the trip to Cardiff on Friday – although they face an uphill task as they currently lie four points behind Brighton.

Whether they win that or not, United know that they can look forward to welcoming the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal to St James’ Park once again.