Dean Smith has promised Rafa Benitez a warm welcome when the Newcastle manager visits Brentford on Saturday.

The Magpies boss has visited Griffin Park before, as interim manager of Chelsea, and got the fright of his life as the Bees, then in League One, were eight minutes from dumping out the then European champions before Fernando Torres equalised.

And Smith will treat Benitez in the same manner that he has treated every boss that has visited the Bees during his reign.

He said: “There'll be a nice welcome to every visitor that comes to our place. We always share pleasantries as is the custom here in England.”

The Bees head coach knows his side face a difficult challenge against the title chasing Magpies but, on 2017 form, Brentford are the side in the ascendancy.

Smith added: “It's a great challenge. I didn't think we played that well when we went to Newcastle.

“It was enjoyable going into the office and sharing a glass of claret with Rafa. It's a game for us to test our wits now.

Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez
Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez

“We're in a decent bit of form. I know we played against non league opposition but we beat Birmingham comfortably the week before.

“It's a great opportunity for us because a club of Newcastle's size and stature and we'll make it difficult for them.”

Benitez is loved on Tyneside and has revitalised the club's supporters and Smith paid tribute to the Spaniard for his loyalty.

He explained: “For me, I think there was admiration when he took the job after Newcastle went down as he wouldn't have been short of offers in Europe such is his standing.

“Everyone can point out the funds, players and support but they've got to do it week in week out and they do that.”

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