Les Ferdinand says Rafael Benitez can bring harmony between Newcastle supporters and the board

The former Magpies striker believes the Spanish boss has already shown how he can unite the club.

Former Newcastle United striker Les Ferdinand has claimed, as quoted by the Chronicle, that persuading Rafael Benitez to stay at the club would bring harmony between supporters and the board.

Relations between Magpies fans and such boardroom figures as owner Mike Ashley and managing director Lee Charnley have been fraught for some time - in Ashley's case, the majority of his rule at St. James' Park.

They perhaps reached an all-time low earlier this season with the hiring and continued backing of former manager Steve McClaren despite the fans - and, according to many reports, the players - having long since lost faith in the ex-England boss.

However, the appointment of Benitez after McClaren's eventual sacking in March has brought about a big change at the club both on the pitch and in terms of the mood in the stands, although it was not enough to stave off relegation.

Ferdinand, who scored 50 goals in just 84 games in two years on Tyneside, believes the Magpies acted too late in appointing Benitez but says that if they can persuade him to stay this summer he can be the man to finally bring harmony to the club.

The 49-year-old said, as quoted by the Chronicle: "If they appease his demands, hopefully, they can persuade him to stay. There needs to be some harmony and I think that is what Rafa Benitez can do.

"He can bring that together, bring the hierarchy and supporters together with his style of management and the way he wants to do things. I think people have seen already he is starting to create a nice feeling around the place.

"If he had been there a little bit sooner they would have stayed in the division. I think he is experienced and his credentials mean that he is the right man for Newcastle."

The effect that Benitez has already had on the club's players was typified by such results as the stunning 5-1 thrashing of Tottenham Hotspur in Sunday's final fixture and the spirited fightback to draw 2-2 against Liverpool at Anfield.

However, it is certain to be a turbulent summer at St. James' Park as the club prepare for a second season in the Championship in the space of eight years.

One thing which is for sure is that the Magpies supporters are desperate to see their board secure the services of the 56-year-old as they look to bounce back from the most disastrous of seasons.

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