Rafa Benitez was delighted with the gutsy performance of the Newcastle players today in the tough 1-0 win at Bristol City.
City looked a good side, but Rafa had expected a hard game and we certainly got one.
Newcastle players celebrate after Dwight Gayle goal
But this performance has to be pleasing the way the lads showed guts and character and held on for what were 3 good points as we try to get our season on track after a poor start.
It was also in front of the biggest crowd at Ashton Gate in 26 years.
This is what a delighted Rafa Benitez said after the game today:
“Dwight Gayle can play in the Premier League for sure. He has played there before and, hopefully, he can play there for us in the next two years or so.”
“We knew it would be this kind of game and we had to work really hard as a team. We knew there would be a lot of high balls into our box.”
“We showed character and spirit today and will need that for the rest of the season.”
“We have to keep working as hard as we did today and then show our quality. City had different options, different ways of playing and they will do well this season.”
“It is important to be able to attack and score goals, but we also need to show spirit and be able to play this way.”
“This was a big step forward.”
With defense having been one of the weaknesses this season, this indeed could be a big step forward – and now we need to win our next two games – both at home.
We play Cheltenham on Tuesday night in the second round of the EFL (former League) Cup and then a very tough league game against high-flying Brighton and former manager Chris Hughton next Saturday in the 5:30 pm kick-off game.
The there is the two week International break and the end of the transfer window on August 31st.