In a brutally honest interview, Newcastle keeper Rob Elliot has talked positively about the impact of Rafa Benitez – but also laid bare just what a mess the club was in which prompted the need for the new manager.

After only surviving on the final day of the 2014/15 season and now this eventual relegation after years of struggle, Rob Elliot says ‘you have to hold your hands up and say that things aren’t right’.

The United keeper says that this refers to both the players and the actual club, with the pair of them needing ‘many changes’.

Elliot says that Rafa Benitez ‘wants to change the club in the way that he sees is right’, with the Spaniard able to draw on his vast experience elsewhere in order to manage this herculean task.

It doesn’t bear thinking about if we’d ended up trading in Steve McClaren for another version of him, Carver or Pardew.

Rob Elliot sums up what so many fans are saying, hoping that in years to come we can all look back and ‘see that this was on step back to go two forward’.

We all know the club had been failing for years and the same mistakes repeated season after season, especially in the lack of a quality manager and the ridiculous transfer strategy.

The Manager is the key person at any football club and it shows just how badly Ashley got it wrong at Newcastle United, when he thought it was a clever idea of getting rid of the idea of having a manager at all!

Instead changing it to Head Coach and making it very public that whoever did the job would have no real say in any important decisions, both on transfers and elsewhere. Only there to (mis)manage/coach the team.

Rob Elliot talking to the official club website:

“The most important thing now is getting the Club back on track with Rafa at the helm.

“When you get relegated – and have gone close the year before – you have to hold your hands up and say that things aren’t right. And by that I am taking about the players and the Club.

“Hopefully we make as many changes as we can to get us back to where we want to be and where we deserve to be.

“We need to move this Club forward and hopefully we can look back and see that this was one step back to go two forward. That may be necessary and hopefully it is only good for the Club.

“Rafa wants to change the Club in the way that he sees is right. He’s done that at many different places and has experience of managing in England, too.

“It is a win-win for everyone and hopefully we can look forward to a lot of success.

“You can tell the experience he’s got from the top level, and I don’t think I realised just how good he would be until I worked under him.

“You can see the difference in team over the final few weeks of the season, even if it didn’t end the way we wanted it to.

“Everything was done on merit, there were no predetermined actions and he doesn’t miss a trick.

As players, you know that nothing is going unnoticed. If you don’t put the work in and you don’t do what you’re asked then you are going to get pulled up for it, and that can only be a good thing.

“Hopefully he can help us push on as a Club and we can have some really good times here.”