Rafael Benitez left St James Park a happy man this evening as Newcastle United beat Huddersfield Town to pick up a vital three points in their battle against the drop.
With Fulham and Cardiff both losing last night, and Southampton facing a not so easy trip to the Emirates on Sunday to face fifth placed Arsenal, this afternoon’s game against bottom club Huddersfield served as an ideal opportunity to gain ground on all of their rivals.
Second half goals from Salomon Rondon and Ayoze Perez secured a 2-0 win for the Magpies against The Terriers – who had Tommy Smith sent off after just 20 minutes – and it moved them up to 15th in the table, four points clear of the drop zone.
Speaking after the game, Spanish manager Benitez was happy with the performance of his players.
“We needed to win and we did it creating a lot of chances – I think we hit the post or bar four times. When they were passing at the beginning they had chances but we did well. I am very pleased with the performance of our players,” Benitez told BBC’s Match of the Day.
“We had 29 attempts which is not bad – their keeper did well. But it does not matter because we got the win.
“I think we have confidence to get three points in the next game. We take it one game at a time. We can do well against any team so next time is another final for us and we just try to do the same on Tuesday.
“If we can win here the fans can enjoy and I will be happy. But I don’t care where we get the wins.”
Benitez was finally able to give a full debut to club-record signing Miguel Almiron, and the Spaniard seemed excited as to what the Paraguay international will bring to the side.
“His contribution in terms of work rate was really good. He will be pleased with his performance and the fans will be too. He will give us a different characteristics and different options.”