The Magpies suffered relegation to the Championship last term, largely as a result of Sunderland’s excellent late run of form which condemned Newcastle to the drop before the ultimate game of the campaign.
Having said that, there appears plenty of positivity around St. James’ Park and the news that Rafa Benitez was to remain in charge of the club sent out a clear message of their upcoming intentions.
Gray, speaking to the Daily Star, felt Newcastle could have avoided the drop had Benitez arrived earlier and admits despite of the Wear-Tyne rivalry he wants the Toon Army back on the top-light.
“Newcastle’s downfall was not replacing Steve McClaren a little bit earlier. I saw the performances against Manchester City and Tottenham and they were breathtaking. He’s the right man – the Newcastle public took to him straight away,” Gray explained.
“They’ve certainly got the right man in charge and the Premier League will be a better place with Sunderland and Newcastle in it. And I know people might read this and think that I don’t mean it, but I really do hope that they get back in the Premier League."
Making an immediate return to the Premier League has often been a tough task for relegated sides, yet there is no doubt Newcastle currently have the staff and players on board to bounce back in style.
The last time the Magpies were in the Championship they romped to promotion with 102 points, and this time around they arguably have a better squad and more fire-power at their disposal.