Jack Colback hails the impact Rafael Benítez has had on Newcastle United

Jack Colback has sang the praises of Rafael Benítez and the impact the Champions League winner has had on Newcastle United.

The 27-year-old admitted that players were on their knees before the Spaniard’s arrival, but that quickly changed once Benítez was given the reins.

The ‘Rafa effect’

The Magpies confirmed their promotion back to the Premier League on Monday after defeating Preston North End 4-1.

And Colback believes their successful season is down to Benítez.

“He has brought positivity to the club. We were on our knees when we went down. There was a lot of negativity around the place.

“But as soon as he signed up, it gave the fans optimism. That has helped the fans and us along. The fans can see the long-term plan which is what someone like Rafa Benítez brings to the football club.”

Colback has made 26 appearances for United this season and has been battling with Isaac Hayden for a place in the side throughout.

Credt: Getty Images / Serena Taylor

Promotion relief

The former Sunderland player admits that the Magpies ‘had the odd wobble’ as they secured promotion and added that Newcastle are too big a club to be playing in the second tier of English football.

He said: “We are relieved. We were nailed on favourites to go up and I think that comes with the club, the stature of Newcastle and the stadium – no disrespect to the league but we are in the wrong place.

“I think we have been very consistent. We have had the odd wobble, which will happen at any level.

“Recently we have struggled as we have got closer to the finish line, but it feels good to finally get over it.”

United are still in with a chance of lifting the Championship trophy providing they win their remaining two games and Brighton fail to pick up another three points.