RAFAEL BENITEZ can ensure Newcastle are a success story when they return to the Premier League next season if everyone connected with the club stays united as preparations continue behind-the-scenes.

That is the verdict of midfielder Isaac Hayden, who is confident Newcastle have what it takes to avoid a repeat of Hull and Middlesbrough’s frustrations in the top-flight.

Both the Tigers and Boro have fallen out of the top tier after just one season, having both encountered problems off the pitch.

Burnley showed both clubs how to attack the Premier League, successfully avoiding an immediate drop back into the Championship as they finished two places above the bottom three and six points clear of safety.

Benitez has loftier ambitions, which is why he sought assurances from the boardroom that there will be in excess of £80m to spend.

And Hayden, a £2.5m buy from Arsenal last summer, is certain Newcastle can shine brighter than those three other teams after winning the Championship.

He said: “I think it's more the mentality of the teams. You look at Burnley and you have got Sean Dyche as the manager and you have got the players that they have – it's a very hard-working team.

“They'd do well in any league because the basis of their game is hard work, tactical knowledge and being defensively strong, and that's the difference.

“Boro had a bit of a problem in terms of management, so that can affect the group, and Hull have come up and they struggled. They've not really had a squad at the start of the season and they have had a change of manager.

“I think this will be different. If we have the stability and we have the manager behind us and the backing from the fans, I think it will be totally different to any of the teams who were promoted last year.”

Hayden has been impressed with everything that has gone on at Newcastle since arriving from Arsenal. He had other options, but felt there was a chance of long-term progress and development under Benitez at St James’.

He is optimistic for the future and that Newcastle can do well, although he also feels there needs to be a degree of caution in terms of looking too high, too soon.

Hayden said: “I can't really comment on past years because I haven't been here, but since I've been here, it's been fantastic.

“The fans have been brilliant, the manager has been brilliant and the whole club has been united and moving in the right direction.

“As long as it does move in the right direction now that the manager is staying then hopefully we can move forward and go onto bigger and better things.

“This football club shouldn't really be in the Championship, it should be in the top ten, top eight in the Premier League challenging for the European positions.

“But it’s about being realistic. It’s about a platform that we have built here now and it's about over the next few years – not just next year, but the year after that, the year after that, to steadily improve, improve and get better and better and back to where this club belongs.”

Benitez is working hard with his recruitment team to get deals signed and sealed in plenty of time before the start of pre-season in early July.

Newcastle are close to agreeing a couple of more deals having already triggered a £6.2m permanent switch for Chelsea winger Christian Atsu.

Tammy Abraham, a Chelsea youngster, is a strong contender to be the second arrival after an apparent agreement between the clubs that would see him join on loan.

But reports in The Northern Echo’s sister newspaper, The Argus, has floated the idea that Abraham might have doubts about uprooting from his Surrey home. A move to Brighton would allow him to commute.

Newcastle, who are close to signing Eibar defender Florian Lejeune, have seen their move for Sporting Lisbon’s Ruben Semedo hit complications. The clubs are believed to have reached an agreement over a £12.5m fee for the defender but Sporting have since asked for a 50 per cent sell on clause which has frustrated Newcastle.