Fabricio Coloccini says that Steve McClaren and his backroom team were ‘good people’…but when you have a disastrous season like Newcastle have had, ‘you have to change something’.

The (presumably still) United Captain says that the final 10 matches of the season are ‘massive’, because if the team can avoid relegation he thinks that next season ‘will be good’ under Rafa Benitez.

Coloccini thinks that Benitez will help the United squad and that ‘his career speaks for itself’.

Describing the arrival of the new manager as ‘exciting’, the Argentine defender says both younger and older players can learn from the former Real Madrid boss.

As somebody who is seen to very much represent a lot of the bad habits Newcastle have fallen into, on and off the pitch, it will be interesting to see whether Coloccini could just possibly find a new lease of life in the short-term, rather than the generally poor to average displays we have come to expect from the centre-back.

Fabricio Coloccini speaking to the official club website:

“We had good people here…the staff who were here, all of them were good people, so it is a strange emotion.

“But when things are going wrong, you have to change something and the Club made the decision.

“Now we have a great manager who has won a lot of things, who has a lot of experience, who has been in charge of very big teams like Real Madrid and Inter Milan, so I think he will help us.

“I think his career speaks for itself. It is exciting for us and for the younger players as well – because they can learn a lot from him.

“Hopefully we can understand the way he wants to play and try to win games, because the aim is to be in the Premier League next season.

“The next ten games will be massive because if we stay in the Premier League like we want to do, I think next season, with a manager with such big experience, it will be good.

“But first we need to think about this season and try to win the points that we need to be in the Premier League next season.”