Peter Crouch has his say on Rafa Benitez and what he REALLY needs at Newcastle
Crouch was signed for Liverpool by Benitez earlier in his career.
Now at Stoke City, Crouch will face Newcastle at the bet365 Stadium this afternoon.
United, in 16th place, are a point behind Mark Hughes's side, who were beaten 5-0 by Chelsea at the weekend.
Newcastle, having taken five points from their last 12 games, desperately need a result to stay out of the relegation zone.
Crouch, 36, spoke to the matchday programme about United manager Benitez, who is hoping to strengthen his squad in the January window.
"He was brilliant for me," said Crouch. "He signed me for Liverpool and probably helped give me the most successful time of my career.
"We won titles there, I scored a fair few goals and I really loved working under him for the time that I did. I loved being there, and I feel proud and privileged to have played for a club of that magnitude, and obviously he was the reason I got to experience that.
"Tactically, he was very good. He lives and breathes football, and is somebody I have the absolute utmost respect for.
"Obviously, I would love to get one over him when we meet, though, because three points for us are all that matters, but after, of course, I would wish him and Newcastle United well, because he's a top person and a top manager.
"He's proven himself so many times, and I'm sure, given the help of some resources in January, he'll have them back up and running agian very soon."
Crouch has scored six goals against Newcastle during his long career.
"I've always enjoyed playing against Newcastle over the years," said the former England international.