Rafa Benitez makes plea to Newcastle’s fans AND players in wake of transfer disappointment

QPR defender Joel Lynch appears to stamp on Sammy Ameobi. Picture by Frank Reid
QPR defender Joel Lynch appears to stamp on Sammy Ameobi. Picture by Frank Reid

Rafa Benitez called on Newcastle United’s fans and players to “stick together” after the club’s 2-2 draw against Queens Park Rangers.

A 90th-minute own goal from Ciaran Clark saw Ian Holloway’s side claim a point at St James’s Park last night.

The result came less than 24 hours after the club failed to re-sign Crystal Palace winger Andros Townsend on transfer deadline day.

Newcastle are a point behind Championship leaders Brighton and Hove Albion, who take on Huddersfield Town tonight.

The result followed the club’s FA Cup defeat to League One side Oxford United.

Asked if it was the “worst week of the season”, United manager Benitez said: “I don’t know.

“It is a long season. Hopefully, if that is the worst it means the others will be better.

“What we have to do now and I have to be clear, also, is stick together.

“We have the fans. They have to realise they need to support the team. They have to be behind the team.

“The players, they have to realise these are the payers we have and they can be very important players for this club.

“If we promote they will be there, they will be famous, they will be heroes, they will be important.

“Stick together, work hard together and see we can achieve what we want to achieve.”

Benitez had been looking to sign a winger and a midfielder in the January window.

Asked if he had enough to see the job through and get the club back in the Premier League, Benitez said: “Yes, I think so.

“Obviously, we need to do better and to win games, but now is something we cannot change today.

“We have to make sure against Derby the team will be ready and focus with the confidence we have all season.”

Meanwhile, QPR manager Ian Holloway defended Joel Lynch, who stamped on a prone Sammy Ameobi in front of the linesman.

Lynch was not even booked by referee Tim Robinson.

Holloway said: “I don’t think Lynch did it deliberately in the corner.”