Moussa Sissoko is confident Newcastle will gain from Benitez experience and survive the EPL.
Newcastle played out a narrow 1-0 defeat against Leicester City and are one point above relegation with nine games to go.
But with Benitez taking over from McClaren, Sissoko is confident of remaining in the EPL.
And Sissoko feels Benitez, a Champions League winner with Liverpool, can guide them to safety.
“We were surprised to see him come to Newcastle because normally he is playing for the title and Champions League,” said the France midfielder.
“We were all happy and now we have nine games left. He will bring his experience and we can be in the Premier League next season with him.
“He worked with Madrid, Liverpool, some very good teams. We need to listen to what he says because he is one of the best managers in the world. We need to follow him.”
Next up for Newcastle is a north-east derby with fellow strugglers Sunderland at St James’ Park on Sunday, a match Sissoko knows could prove crucial.
Sissoko added: “Every derby is a big game, but I think it will be more so on Sunday because we are both in and around the bottom three.”