Rafa Benitez has been talking ahead of this afternoon’s match against Leicester City.
The United boss says that it is even more important this season, compared to last season, that the fans show their support for the team.
Whilst the Newcastle manager was never going to acknowledge it after the summer window closed, it is obvious that the team/squad is weaker than last season.
Last year, the media repeatedly referred to Newcastle United as a ‘Championship’ team due to the lack of backing Mike Ashley allowed Rafa Benitez in the transfer market.
With it actually being a £20m+ profit(!) generated on transfers this summer, it has ensured that the Newcastle squad available to the manager is facing a very tough job in terms of just survival, never mind any ambitions beyond that.
With Lejeune and Rondon ruled out, plus news late last night that both Dummett and Fernandez are also set to miss today with hamstring problems, no wonder Rafa Benitez is appealing to the fans.
The NUFC boss declaring that for team and fans it has to be ‘More than ever, Newcastle UNITED.’
Mike Ashley’s ongoing neglect and refusal to allow proper investment throughout the club, and unjustified ticket price rises this summer, have ensured that no home game has sold out so far, despite three attractive oppositions.
Today is the same, with tickets all around the ground still available.
However, there will be still fifty thousand or so there today backing the team and if the supporters are given any encouragement from the pitch, we can get a decent atmosphere going again.
It is a two-way process and here’s hoping that spirit on and off the pitch can help bring about a positive result.
Rafa Benitez talking to BBC Newcastle:
“I have seen when they have arguments between fans, but the majority of them, they understand and appreciate how important it it to stick together.
“So for us, more than ever, Newcastle UNITED.
“We have to be United, we have to back the team for 90 minutes.
“And after, everybody will have their opinions, but during the game we have to be sure that the players feel the support of the fans.
“It has been like that since we were (first) here.
“Hopefully, everybody will appreciate how important it is to do that this season, more important than last season.”