Rafael Benitez has urged Newcastle United fans to come together ahead of the club’s clash with Chelsea in the Premier League.
The Magpies are currently 15th in the table, but they are without a win in their last five games as they prepare to travel to Stamford Bridge, and the Spaniard has moved to quell any fan disunity.
Newcastle are enduring a testing period under the management of Benitez, and are in very real danger of being sucked into the relegation battle raging below them.
Though currently ensconced in the relative safety of 15th, they are just two points clear of 18th-placed Southampton.
And their recent form has given supporters little to cheer about – since a 1-0 win over Huddersfield on December 15, Newcastle have lost to Liverpool and Manchester United, and drawn with Fulham, Watford and Blackburn Rovers, the latter coming in the FA Cup.
Benitez, though, believes they can only steady the ship if the fans are behind them.
He said, per Chronicle Live: ”We have to realise where we are and we have to realise the only way forward is to stay united.
“We can’t waste too much energy. The idea last year when we were back in the Premier League was to be united. You have to realise that this is a big city and massive club.
“The reality is when we stick together and we are united, we are stronger. That happened in the Championship and last year when we finished 10th.