Cape Town - Newcastle United captain Fabricio Coloccini has written an open letter of apology to fans for the club's woeful form that has left them battling to retain their Premier League status.
A run of eight successive league defeats has left Newcastle two points above the relegation zone, with three matches remaining of what has turned into a nightmare run-in.
"On behalf of the squad we would like to apologise for the moment we are going through. Needless to say this is not anything intentional," Argentina central defender Coloccini wrote on the club's website (www.nufc.co.uk) on Tuesday.
"The time we have left to turn around this situation is short but after the end of the season we will try to learn from the mistakes we made so that we don't have to go through this again.
"This is as painful for us as it is for you, because when this team comes on to the pitch we do so with the intention of winning and to defend not just the colours of this club, not just our shirt, but also to represent thousands of fans, the whole city."
Newcastle's 3-0 home defeat by Leicester City on Saturday, in which they had two players sent off, has provoked an outbreak of soul-searching at the north east club.
On Monday, a club statement said there had been two days of "frank discussions" involving under-fire manager John Carver and senior players who, along with the board, were "focused" and "determined" that the club retain their Premier League status.
Carver came in for heavy criticism from the media in the wake of the Leicester defeat for suggesting Newcastle defender Mike Williamson had got himself red-carded deliberately.
Coloccini said it was now time for everyone at the club to put past problems aside and called on supporters to get behind the team for the remaining fixtures.
The Magpies host West Bromwich Albion on Saturday before finishing the season with games at Queens Park Rangers and home to West Ham United.
"Players and staff have come together in order to leave all past problems aside and to focus 100 percent on the three 'cup finals' that we have left," said Coloccini.
"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."