Fabio Pecchia gives his verdict on Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle side

Rafa Benitez and Fabio Pecchia, right
Rafa Benitez and Fabio Pecchia, right

Fabio Pecchia says Newcastle United ARE ready for the Premier League.

Rafa Benitez’s side beat Pecchia’s Hellas Verona 2-0 at St James’s Park on Sunday in their final pre-season friendly.

Newcastle is a strong team, and is ready to play at the next match against Tottenham. They are ready.

Fabio Pecchia

Pecchia spent three months by Benitez’s side the season before last before leaving to take charge of the Italian club last summer.

The 43-year-old – who won promotion with Verona last season – has fond memories of working with Benitez on Tyneside – despite the team’s fate that season.

“I have a strong relationship and a stronger friendship with Rafa,” said Pecchia, who also served under Benitez at Real Madrid and Napoli, his former club.

“I stayed in Newcastle for three months, but I have a lot of good memories of Newcastle.

“For me, it was a very good experience and I found a lot of friends.”

Newcastle were dominant against Verona, who don’t kick off their Serie A campaign until later this month.

United, meanwhile, entertain Tottenham Hotspur at St James’s Park on Sunday.

Pecchia said: “Newcastle is a strong team, and is ready to play at the next match against Tottenham. They are ready.”

Asked if Benitez’s side were ready for the Premier League, he added: “Rafa can work with this team from the beginning (of pre-season).

“The objective is to maintain their status, and Rafa, with this team, can do this.”