Rafa Benitez during the week said he had not lost confidence in his striker Aleksandar Mitrovic and the 22 year-old Serbian striker repaid his manager this afternoon with the winner just before half time against Wolves.
Newcastle go back on top of the league with 65 points from our 30 games and that was our 21st win of the season.
Brighton won at home 4-1 against Burton Albion and had gone top in the earlier game but Newcastle now go a point above the Seagulls with what has to be looked on as an excellent 1-0 win at Molineux.
It was still a difficult match to watch for Newcastle fans and things got a little nervous at the end – again.
Aleksandar Mitrovic after scoring – YES
The first half was a close fought 45 minutes as the recalled Colback had an early chance after just 3 minutes but Carl Ikeme saved.
Mitrovic was getting in among the Wolves defenders and picked up a yellow card after 14 minutes for a foul on Richard Stearman.
After 30 minutes Newcastle were lucky not to be 1-0 down but Stearman failed to score when he shot over the bar when he had a good chance and should have done a lot better,.
Aleksandar Mitrovic was then very lucky not to pick up a second yellow and be dismissed, when he made a clumsy high challenge on goalkeeper Ikeme.
At that time the two benches got into an argument while the Wolves goalkeeper was treated – but let’s just say Mitro could very easily have been sent off and he really does need to show more discipline in these games.
It was good the striker was still on the field after 44 minutes when Shelvey put in a free kick from outside the penalty box and Diame’s shot was blocked, but Mitro was there to stab the ball home for a striker’s goal.
That was Mitro’s 6th goal of the season and it will give the lad some confidence after a dry spell
Rafa Benitez showed his experience when he replaced Mitro with Atsu at the start of the second half since one more yellow for the striker would have seen Newcastle reduced to 10 men.
The manager will not have been pleased with the lad’s lack of discipline this afternoon.
Newcastle controlled the game in the second half but again the opposition managed to come at Newcastle near the end, but we hung on and won the game in a nervous finale.
These are vital wins for Newcastle but it would be nice to have more than a goal lead late in the games.
But we are not complaining and this was a good performance from the lads and an excellent win in front of the TV cameras.
Wolves: Ikeme; Doherty, Stearman, Batth, Coady; Price (Evans, 46), Edwards, Weimann (Marshall, 64), Enobakhare (Bodvarsson, 61), Costa; Dicko.
Subs not used: Burgoyne, Saville, Hause, Ronan.
Newcastle: Darlow; Yedlin, Lascelles, Clark, Dummett; Shelvey, Colback; Ritchie (Murphy, 82), Diame (Perez, 88), Gouffran; Mitrovic (Atsu, 46).
Subs not used: Elliot; Hanley, Gamez, Hayden.
Attendance 24,876 (4,164 Newcastle fans)