Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer backing Rafa Benitez to gain immediate promotion

Alan Shearer.

Alan Shearer.

Alan Shearer is hopeful Rafa Benitez can get Newcastle United back where it belongs – after being given the freedom of the club.

Benitez last week agreed to stay on at St James’s Park and manage in the Championship.

The 56-year-old committed himself to the club for the next three years after being given control of transfers.

Chief scout Graham Carr had previously overseen United’s recruitment.

The club has now changed the structure in the wake of a disastrous relegation.

And Shearer, the club’s all-time record goalscorer, feels it was important that Benitez was given more power.

Asked about the importance of Benitez taking control of all football-related matters, Shearer said: “Well, I hope he has (control).

“I mean only time will tell about that. We hope that they get off to a good start and that they’re only down there for one season and get back where they belong

“But I hope he’s actually allowed to manage.”

Ex-Newcastle manager Shearer was “surprised” to see Benitez stay at the club.

“I was surprised that he stayed,” said the Match of the Day pundit.

“I thought that he would so many offers that managing Newcastle in the Championship might not have been an entertaining proposition for him.

“But the crowd made him feel really welcome and wanted him here, so that was a big sway for him.

“To have him managing Newcastle, with his CV, is a big coup for Newcastle.”

Shearer, however, believes Benitez will “not hang around” long if the club fails to win promotion in his first full season in charge at the club.

“Well the longer you’re down there, the harder it is to get back,” he said.

“Obviously, Rafa believes he can get back at the first attempt, he won’t to hang around in the Championship, not a guy with his CV.

“I’m sure that he’s working very hard – one, to sell players, and two, to bring in players as we speak.”

Meanwhile, Benitez’s Newcastle side will play Dublin side Bohemian at Dalymount Park on July 16 as part of the pre-season ca,paign.