One-time Rafa Benitez assistant Fabio Pecchia has been handed the dreaded vote of confidence.

Arriving at St James Park back in March 2016, Pecchia was at Rafa’s side just as he had been at both Napoli and Real Madrid.

The pair failed to keep Newcastle in the Premier League after taking on the very difficult 10 game survival challenge.

Whilst Rafa Benitez committed to staying and getting Newcastle back in the Premier League, Fabio Pecchia took on a similarly sizeable challenge of his own.

Hellas Verona had also been relegated, finishing rock bottom of Serie A in 2015/16 , and were looking for a new boss.

Rafa’s assistant took on that challenge and matches his old boss, Pecchia last season also getting his team promoted back to the top tier at the first time of asking.

However, things have proved tough and with only four wins from the opening 24 matches, Hellas Verona are five points from safety with 14 games remaining.

Only Benevento, where Achraf Lazaar is on loan, are below them in the table.

Some fans have called for the manager’s sacking but the club president has given Fabio Pecchia the classic vote of confidence, though he has used more emotive language than your typical club boss.

Maurizio Setti says ‘I won’t sack Pecchia because I have a head’.

The Hellas Verona President then indicating that the manager deserves loyalty now because ‘He turned down Newcastle to come here’.

Some of the Verona supporters have been unhappy with the perceived treatment of veteran striker, 33 year old Giampaolo Pazzini.

Having starred for both AC Milan and Inter Milan in his career, the forward scored 23 goals in only 35 games to help get promotion last season.

However, this season he has been mainly used as a sub, starting only seven league matches and scoring four goals. Pazzini was sent out on loan to La Liga club Levante on the final day of the January window and only three days after signing, he came off the bench to score and earn a 2-2 draw against Real Madrid.

In contrast, a late loan deal was agreed for Rafa Benitez to loan Fabio Pecchia the services of Rolando Aarons until the end of the season, but the Newcastle winger has struggled and shown little as he has started two Serie A games and Verona have lost both, without scoring a goal.

Verona President Maurizio Setti talking to Gazzetta dello Sport:

“I won’t sack Fabio Pecchia because I have a head.

“He (Fabio Pecchia) turned down Newcastle to come here, this group (of players) is behind him and we are playing to stay up.

“Giampaolo Pazzini?

“He was never a problem, the Coach explained that things would be different (less starts) in Serie A.”