Former manager of Newcastle United Graeme Souness has declared his support for current manager Rafa Benitez and has asked for him to be backed ahead of the club’s promotion bid.

Souness advised that Championship sides focus on investments in the team after they earn promotion to the top flight.

Souness said all the stakeholders know that a major investment would be required when they regain Premier League status but added that the relationship of Benitez and Mike Ashley would be tested when it comes to time to invest in talents during the transfer window.

Souness said it would be “very difficult next season” if the club does not commit to getting new players.

“You can only speculate [how much money will be made available to spend] and the manager’s relationship with the owner will come out in the wash this summer,” the ex-United manager said

Souness is adjudged one of the worst managers of Newcastle when the club was in its prime. Sir Bobby Robson had a decent team in place before Souness had to dismantle it. He tried to manage a bad transfer history of the club but brought in some of the best players for the club at a modest rate back in 2005.

Newcastle are set to meet with Burton next after Saturday’s victory. They are in the pole position for the Championship title.

On the likely teams to be relegated at the end of the season, Souness named Middlesbrough, Sunderland and Swansea, claiming “Hull have a wee bit more about them than” the Swans.

The manager, who has managed to retain the spotlight over the years, joined the debate about foreign and British managers. Souness claimed “very good young coaches” are not getting the chance they deserve as many foreign owners are not going British.