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Coloccini excited by Benitez appointment at Newcastle

Fabricio Coloccini is excited by Rafael Benitez's appointment as Newcastle United manager and feels the Spaniard will have a big influence on the club's young players.

Benitez was confirmed as successor to Steve McClaren, who was sacked with Newcastle second bottom in the Premier League, on Friday.

The former Real Madrid, Inter, Chelsea and Liverpool boss now has 10 games to save Newcastle from relegation, starting with a daunting away trip to leaders Leicester City on Monday.

Of McClaren's departure, Coloccini told Newcastle's website: "We had good people here - the staff who were here, all of them were good people, so it is a strange emotion.

"But when things are going wrong, you have to change something and the club made the decision.

"Now we have a great manager who has won a lot of things, who has a lot of experience, who has been in charge of very big teams like Real Madrid and Inter Milan, so I think he will help us.

"I think his career speaks for itself. It's exciting for us, and for the younger players as well because they can learn a lot from him.

"Hopefully we can understand the way he wants to play and try to win games, because the aim is to be in the Premier League next season."

Coloccini sees a bright future for Newcastle under Benitez should they survive, but called for focus on the end-of-season run-in.

He added: "The next 10 games will be massive because if we stay in the Premier League like we want to do, I think next season, with a manager with such big experience, it will be good.

"But first we need to think about this season and try to win the points that we need to be in the Premier League next season."