Rafa Benitez says Newcastle United’s fans can make all the difference this season.
This afternoon’s home game against Brentford is heading for a sell-out.
That is how magnificent our fans are. Every single time you go away you can hear them. That is massive for our players.Rafa Benitez
The third-placed club, which will be backed by almost 6,000 fans against Barnsley at Oakwell on Tuesday night, had sold 51,000 tickets for the Championship game yesterday.
Brentford have sold 2,778 tickets for the first clubs’ first league meeting since 1993.
So far this season, Newcastle have averaged almost 50,000 at St James’s Park in English football’s second tier.
Asked about the crowd, United manager Benitez said: “That is how magnificent our fans are.
“Every single time you go away you can hear them. That is massive for our players.
“I think they can give our players an extra motivation.
“They can make the difference, and sometimes, when a player needs support, they have to be there. They have to support any player.
“What you have to ask for is the players to give everything.”
Dwight Gayle scored a hat-trick on his last home appearance for United.
And Benitez feels the support Gayle got during a four-game run without a goal helped him.
“Dwight Gayle was missing chances, but after he scored three goals,” said Benitez.
“During the games, if you support the players, it will be a win-win situation.”Enjoy getting involved on training field?”
Meanwhile, Benitez has wished his predecessor, Steve McClaren, good luck at Derby County.
McClaren this week returned to the iPro Stadium – 17 months after he was sacked by the Rams.
Asked if he was surprised by the appointment, Benitez said: “I’m not surprised. I’m just concentrating on my job.
“I wish him all the best. Hopefully, he can do really well, but we have to be above them.”
* Newcastle United winger Callum Roberts suffered an injury playing for the club’s Under-23s in last night’s 4-1 defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux.
Roberts was stretchered off late in the game. Sean Longstaff netted a second-half goal for Peter Beardsley’s side.