Newcastle beat Burton Albion 2-1 yesterday in a very tough game at the Pirelli Stadium with all goals being scored in the first half.
Dwight Gayle was again on the scoreboard scoring after 15 minutes for his 17th league goal of the campaign before Dyer equalized just five minutes later after some sloppy defending by the Newcastle back line.
Mo Diame then scored his second Championship goal in as many games as he put Newcastle ahead in the 34th minute and we doggedly held onto the lead even though Burton attacked in the second half and went close a few times.
Rafa Benitez on the sidelines yesterday
That’s now 16 wins in 22 games, one win more than Chris Hughton had seven years ago, but with the same number of points – 49.
So we look to be on track for promotion, but nothing at all will be taken for granted by the manager.
This is what a happy Rafa Benitez said after the game yesterday when he wished everybody a Merry Christmas:
“You know I’d prefer to be top of the table in May, but it is a good time for the fans so I wish everyone a Merry Christmas. We are in a good position.”
“Now we can enjoy our time with the families. We also have time to prepare because we don’t have so many games during this month.”
“Wigan was another test, a different one. Burton was even harder and we did well.” “We saw players working as hard as they did and tried to compete in the air.”
“They held the ball, competed in the air, played counter attack and defended.”
“We have players that are learning how to perform in this division and this is really important for any team.”
“Now we can wait. After games like this you’ll get knocks.” “They have two days off and they can enjoy them.”
“We will check on Monday if everybody is fine.”
Nigel Clough was pleased with the performance of his side and it shows a small club with a good manager and very decent players can be a match for almost any team these days.
We were simply delighted to come away with all 3 points in a very close game to keep our slim lead over Brighton & Hove Albion at the top of the Championship.
Brighton won 2-1 at Birmingham in the late game, coming from behind with a goal in the 82nd minute and 95th minute to spoil the debut of Gianfranco Zola as the Birmingham manager.