Peter Beardsley has hailed Rafa Benitez after he made an impromptu dressing room visit.
Newcastle United's Under-23s last night reached the Premier League 2 Second Division play-off final.
Beardsley's side beat Fulham 2-0 at St James's Park thanks to goals from Jamie Holmes and Stuart Findlay.
United manager Benitez – whose side won the Championship title on Sunday – visit the dressing room before the break.
“I thought the first 20 minutes were unbelievable – we were really, really good and could have had two or three goals then,” Beardsley told nufc.co.uk.
"The gaffer and his staff were here, which is massive for these kids.
"He came into the dressing-room just before the start, and you could tell, because it looked like they were trying to impress him.
"The goal Jamie Holmes scored was, at any level, a brilliant one. It is pleasing for us that he was here tonight, and that’s the sort of person he is.
“To be fair to Fulham, at 2-0, they played really well, and will probably be disappointed.
"Matz Sels made some brilliant saves, and at times, probably kept us in it."
Newcastle's play-off final against West Ham United will be staged at St James's Park on Tuesday, May 16 (7pm kick-off).
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