Rafa Benitez hails his 'committed' players – and thanks Newcastle's fans

Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez

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Rafa Benitez has praised the "passion and commitment" of his Newcastle United players after this afternoon's win over Swansea City.

Goals from Jamaal Lascelles, Moussa Sissoko and Andros Townsend gave the second-bottom club a hugely-important 3-0 victory at St James's Park.

The result kept the relegation-threatened club's hopes of staying in the Premier League alive.

It was also the first win of Benitez's tenure,

And a victory over Manchester City at St James's Park on Tuesday night would see Newcastle move level on points with 17th-placed Norwich City, beaten 3-0 by Sunderland earlier today.

"I have to say congratulations to the players," Benitez told BBC Sport.

"They showed passion and commitment. Thank you to the fans. If we stick together then it's easier for us to approach the game and gives us the chance to win. The players that started were really good, and the other players who came on helped the team.

"When you win games everybody is happy. Today we saw what we expect from this team.

"We have to show the same in the other games. We were not thinking about the earlier win for Sunderland over Norwich. Now we can see the table but before the game it was about focusing on the game."