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Coloccini calls for unity as Newcastle target survival

Fabricio Coloccini has apologised to Newcastle United's supporters and asked for their backing as the crisis-hit club look to survive in the Premier League.

Eight defeats in a row have left Newcastle two points above the relegation zone with four games remaining, piling pressure onto head coach John Carver.

Saturday's 3-0 defeat to Leicester City saw Newcastle reduced to nine men following the dismissals of Daryl Janmaat and Mike Williamson, the latter accused of deliberately earning a red card by his boss in a post-match interview.

Urgent talks were held following that loss with Carver receiving the backing of the board to lead the side until the end of the season, and Coloccini has called on everyone at St James' Park to pull together to help revive their fortunes.

"On behalf of the squad we would like to apologise for the moment we are going through," he said in an open letter published on the club's official website. "Needless to say this is not anything intentional.

"This is something that has happened for many reasons and right now there is no time to look back and correct those mistakes.

"We are in a delicate situation, one that we have been through before, and it is one of the most uncomfortable situations in the world of football.

"The players and staff have come together in order to leave all past problems aside and to focus 100 per cent on the three 'cup finals' that we have left.

"I would like to make a call to all fans today to also leave aside all differences, all different opinions, anything that divides us as people who love this club.

"On Saturday, please come to St. James' Park, create a great atmosphere, support the team more than ever, because at the end of the day what matters the most here is Newcastle United Football Club.

"Today we need you more than ever. In these three games we need to be together, we need to be united."

Newcastle's problems have not just been confined to the playing squad, with owner Mike Ashley being the subject of protests and boycotts from the club's supporters.