Rafa Benitez delivers personal message to Newcastle fans

Rafa Benitez
Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez has delivered a personal message to Newcastle United fans.

Benitez's side are a win away from securing promotion to the Premier League.

And United can achieve their goal with a victory over Preston North End at St James's Park tonight.

LIVE: Newcastle United v Preston North End

Writing in the match programme, Benitez said: "The atmosphere you created against Leeds in our last home game was really good, and I have to thank you for that.

"We know how important this moment is, and we will do all we can to make sure we get the results we all want.

"We are now very close to the end of the season, and my message has been the same since day one. Everybody at the club know how difficult this division would be, but we are close now to achieving what we wanted to achieve.

"And if you do, you will be a key part of that. By staying with the team, it will be easier to reach our target."

Newcastle were beaten 3-1 by Ipswich Town a week ago.

The disappointing result followed a 1-1 draw against Leeds United at St James's Park when Benitez's side were denied a victory by an injury-time equaliser.

Benitez went on: "A lot of people will wonder how we could play so well against Leeds and then not so well against Ipswich a few days later.

"But this is football, and that is where we are.

"So now is not the time to dwell too much on the things that aren't perfect. It's the time to keep going, maintain our standards and keep fighting for our shared goal."

Benitez could welcome back Ciaran Clark from injury for the Preston game.