Gullit Was Sacked For This

RAFA BENITEZ does not believe there is any reason to be overly concerned about Newcastle United’s lowly position in the Premier League, and is confident things will turn around if the fans continue to back the team at St James’ Park.

The Magpies are now winless from their opening five league games and are already out of the Carabao Cup, with Benitez’s side sitting third from bottom after Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at home to Arsenal.

Newcastle will head to Crystal Palace on Saturday knowing a victory would be very well received ahead of Leicester’s visit to Tyneside. The supporters have continued to back Benitez and the players despite equalling the worst start to a season since 1999-00 when Ruud Gullit was sacked – and the Spaniard hopes that continues.

Newcastle fans are renowned for demanding results, but there is an acceptance that they have faced Tottenham, Chelsea, Manchester City and now the Gunners in the opening six weeks of the season.

“I will tell you that I agree with you in the past. But now I think the fans realise why we are where we are and then our position,” said Benitez. “I don’t think the players have to be worried about pressure, because the fans have been really good.

“They are clever enough to know the best way possible to go forward is to continue supporting the team, and if the players work hard like in the first-half that’s something the fans will appreciate.

“It’s very clear, Newcastle - United. When we are united we are stronger and it’s just the only way for us.”