Rafa Benitez has told planned Newcastle protesters he is not at the club to tell them what they should or shouldn’t do.
Instead the United boss said they will “do what they have to do” to support the team – as a group plans walk-in protests against owner Mike Ashley.
The Magpie Group want fans to stay away for the kick off against West Ham, and only enter the ground after 11 minutes in protest at owner Mike Ashley’s 11 in charge.
Benitez has refused to take sides in the row, but wants a good atmosphere to cheer on his players against the Irons.
He said: “Our fans have been really good for a while, especially the last games. They show the passion and commitment to the club. They will do what they have to support the team. I am not here to tell them: what to do.
“I have a lot of respect for our fans. Hopefully we can enjoy together another three points and that it it.”
ClaretandHugh says: It was our turn last year – now it seems the Magpies have their problems and as was the case with the Hammers the protest is aimed at the club ownership. Nothing much changes in this game and it was of course the same at Manchester United when the Glazers took over. The only certainty about protests is that No 1 they are always gonna happen and two, usually help the visitors on the day they take place. The Geordie fans are being quite subtle about the way they protest and a walk-in may not be as disruptive as other forms of demonstration. However, should it give the Irons an edge in what is a very important game can only be to the good from our point of view but Benitez’s attitude is admirable. He may of course have his own axes to grind with Ashley but that he should refuse to preach at the fans is admirable anyway.