Jimmy Bullard has offered Rafa Benitez some advice ahead of next season in the Championship.

Not exactly sure why he is offering the advice, it appears to be because he is used to play in the second tier so is a bit of an expert on it.

Bullard says that Newcastle are a club who shouldn’t be in the Championship but now they are there, United are very lucky to still have Rafa Benitez.

The former Hull and Wigan player says that the Spaniard is ‘a great manager’ and Mike Ashley needs to ‘put his hand in his pocket’ and back Rafa to get Newcastle straight back into the Premier League.

Rafa Benitez of course was in such a strong position that he was able to insist on full control of transfers and a realistic budget before he agreed to continue at St James Park.

One thing Jimmy Bullard is right about is the 46 match stretch that it takes to get through, saying that Newcastle will need a strong squad.

That has been amplified today with the news that Chancel Mbemba is almost certain to miss up to six weeks in January/February due to the African Cup of Nations, which comes on top of Mitrovic already missing the first four games through suspension.

Jimmy Bullard speaking to the Daily Star:

“Newcastle are a huge club and they shouldn’t be going down into the Championship.

“Once you are at that sort of level, there isn’t a good ‘Championship manager’.

“It’s not hard to do a little bit homework and know what sort of team you need to win the Championship – I believe that he’ll draft people in to help with that.

“He’s a great manager and if I’m a chairman of a football club, I want the best manager I can get – to be fair they have done well keeping him.

“They’ve got to be one of the favourites because of the size of the club and I hope the chairman’s going to put his hand in his pocket and give him what he wants so they can get straight out.

“But I have got to say, I’ve been in the Championship probably more than the Premier League and it is a tough, tough league.

“What he’ll find is it’s a grind and a lot of games as well.

“There’s more international players in the championship than there ever has been, so he is going to need a bigger squad than what he’s used to.”