Newcastle are closing in on a return to the top division having won all 20 of their Championship matches this season, a run of form that has left them 16 points clear at the summit.
"I go and see them whenever I get a chance. We are all hoping they bounce back as the region needs them. It is going to be tough. It always is around January, February, March time. The gap closes a bit between sides due to the pitches while teams tend to know what they will be up against," he told Sky Sports News.
"I think it will be more difficult than some people believe but over the course of two legs Newcastle should progress, the best teams normally do. Clearly Dean Richards has a tough job on his hands. Not only has be got to get them up, he has to keep them there too.
"They have got the infrastructure in place, though. Part of that is having the finances and they have them with Semore Kurdi. This means they are able to sign good players. It will be tough, and it won't happen straight away, but I think over the course of three or four years they can become a force to be reckoned with."
Fletcher now coaches the England Under-18s.