IBTimes UK

Newcastle United have confirmed they have parted ways with Steve McClaren after the Magpies poor performance in the Premier League this season.

McClaren was appointed as the manager at St James' Park before the start of the season. Under his guidance, the Tyneside club have managed only six wins in 28 league games so far. They now sit in the relegation zone with 24 points in the 19th spot.

"After the defeat to Bournemouth on Saturday the Club has spent some time considering its position and has today concluded that Steve McClaren's employment with the Club will end with immediate effect," Newcastle confirmed it on their official website.

"We acknowledge that reaching this decision has taken a number of days and that this has caused uncertainty for everyone involved, in particular for Steve and the players, for which we apologise. However we felt that this time was necessary to ensure the right decisions were reached with the best interests of the Club at heart."

The former England manager has been replaced by Rafael Benitez at the club. The Spaniard also took charge of Real Madrid last summer and despite having an impressive track record, he was shown the exit door at the Spanish capital club.

Benitez's immediate task is to help Newcastle avoid relegation and he has 10 games to change the club's fortune. He joins the Premier League club on an initial three-year deal.

"Newcastle United is delighted to announce the appointment of Rafa Benitez as the Club's new manager. Benitez joins United on an initial three-year deal," a statement read of Newcastle's official website.

Benitez, who has managed Premier League giants Liverpool and Chelsea in the past has expressed his delight on returning to England's top flight club competition.

"I have the pleasure to confirm I have committed to a legendary English club, with the massive challenge of remaining part of the Premier League. It will be a challenge not just for me and my staff but for the players, the Club and the fans," he said.

"All of us must push together in the same direction and with the same target in mind. This is the reason why I'm going to ask for your total support to successfully complete this task.

"Personally, it means my return to the Premier League, closer to my home and my family. I can't be happier. C'mon Toon Army! The club and I need your total involvement!"