Rafa Benitez has emailed Newcastle United fans asking them to create an imposing atmosphere when Sunderland visit St James’s Park on Sunday.
The Magpies manager has continued where predecessor Steve McClaren left off with a pre-derby message.
In his email, he asks fans to create a ‘wall of sound’ and says their help could be the difference between Newcastle winning the game or not.
A full transcript of the email is below:
“First let me start by thanking you all for the heartfelt reception I have received since I arrived. It was an honour to be asked to take charge of this club and I could not have asked for a warmer welcome.
“As you know, work began with intensity from the moment my coaching staff and I arrived. Our first job is to make sure we remain a Premier League club and this week we have committed everything we have to making that happen.
“Whilst the result on Monday at Leicester wasn’t what we wanted, I was pleased with parts of what I saw. We have worked intensively on the areas that need improvement and I am confident we go into Sunday’s game well-prepared.
“I have been in the opposing dug out at St. James’ Park and I know that when I take my place on the home side, I will be backed by some of the most passionate fans in the world. In fact, the strength of your famous support is one of the many things that drew me to this club.
“On Sunday, Sunderland’s team will face not only the 11 players on the pitch, but a 50,000-strong army. I hope you will not underestimate the importance of the role you will play on Sunday; you can make the crucial difference for us.
“Let’s create a wall of sound and a tide of black and white. I am sure there will be respect on both sides, that’s important, but I have no doubt that the atmosphere you will create will be electrifying and imposing.
“In turn, I know the team will play with the passion befitting of this historic fixture. We will give our all to honour the tradition of the derby and take the victory we need.
“I know you’ll be behind them.”