Why Phil Brown feels Rafa Benitez got his pre-season just right at Newcastle

Southend United manager Phil Brown.

Southend United manager Phil Brown.

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Phil Brown feels Newcastle United are already well-equipped for the Championship – and he believes they will be even better prepared by the time they leave Roots Hall.

Rafa Benitez’s side take on Southend United tonight.

A club like Newcastle could go on a glamorous tour and make a lot of money, but playing ourselves and the likes of Doncaster will be a good experience.

Rafa Benitez

Benitez – whose side drew 2-2 with League Two Doncaster Rovers last week – deliberately chose low-key warm-up fixtures in the belief they would better prepare the team for English football’s second tier.

And South Shields-born Brown, Southend’s manager, said: “He’s done it the right way.

“A club like Newcastle could go on a glamorous tour and make a lot of money, but playing ourselves and Doncaster will be a good experience.

“There should be a good crowd, and it’ll be good preparation for some of the less glamorous Championship games. Every club in the Championship will want to play Newcastle.

“They’ve got to be in the right mindset for these games.

“And we want teams that will cause us problems and keep possession against us. It’ll probably be our toughest game.

“I look at the team they put out at Doncaster, and they’ve got a very good squad. They’ve got 24 players, and every one can play Championship football.

“I imagine Newcastle will have plenty of possession, but as we saw at the Euros, possession doesn’t always win you football matches.”

United have already signed six players this summer.

Brown said: “They’ve got players who have a point to prove.”