Fabricio Coloccini: Appointment of Rafa Benitez a 'big statement' ahead of Tyne-Wear derby

Rafa Benitez
Rafa Benitez

Newcastle United captain Fabricio Coloccini says the appointment of Rafa Benitez was a 'big statement' of intent by the club.

Coloccini is set to miss the Tyne-Wear derby through injury but he has praised the immediate impact of the Spaniard since he replaced Steve McClaren as manager.

Writing in his programme notes, Coloccini said: "That is a big statement of the club's ambition.

"This is a great manager who has won a lot of things during his career. He has a lot of experience,having been in charge of very big teams like Real Madrid and Inter Milan, so I think he will help us.

"It is an exciting time for everyone and a big moment for the club.

"I have been very impressed with the impact he has made already.

"You could see how much better we played at Leicester City on Monday night and in training he is very focussed and determined on making sure we are tactically right and well organised."