Dietmar Hamann on how Newcastle fans should treat Mike Ashley after Benitez appointment

Dietmar Hamann believes Mike Ashley deserves praise from Newcastle fans.

Former Newcastle United midfielder Dietmar Hamann has called on the club's fans to praise owner Mike Ashley for appointing Rafael Benitez, as quoted by The Mirror.

Benitez, 55, arrived as Newcastle's newest manager on Friday afternoon, with the deal completed just hours after Steve McClaren's departure from the St. James' Park hot seat.

McClaren, who lasted less than a year in the job, was sacked after a 3-1 home defeat by Bournemouth, and leaves the Magpies sitting second bottom of the Premier League table, just one point from safety.

Benitez takes charge of Newcastle for the first time at Leicester City on Monday night, and will be looking to kickstart the club's fight against relegation.

Now, former Magpies midfielder Dietmar Hamann - who spent just one season with the club before joining Liverpool in 1999 - has spoken about Benitez's arrival, having played under the Spaniard at Anfield.

Hamann believes that Benitez can 'heal some of the wounds' amongst disillusioned Newcastle fans, and called on those supporters to actually praise owner Mike Ashley in an interview with The Mirror.

Ashley has been criticised by Newcastle fans ever since he purchased the club back in 2007, but Hamann believes the actually deserves some credit from Magpies supporters, having managed to land Champions League winner Benitez, who left Real Madrid in January.

"I think Rafa Benitez and Newcastle United are a great fit," said Hamann. "Credit must go to Mike Ashley because bringing in a manager of Rafa’s class and pedigree is a big coup for a club in the relegation zone. Ashley has come in for a lot of criticism – some of it justified – but he has spent heavily in the last two transfer windows and now he has appointed a manager who was in charge of Real Madrid just a few months ago."

"I really do think that Rafa’s arrival can help to heal some of the wounds that have been festering between the fans and the club in recent years. Newcastle’s supporters don’t ask for much. They don’t demand trophies or ­Champions League football like a lot of clubs their size. They just want a football club they can be proud of," he added.

Will you be praising Ashley after he appointed Benitez?

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