Rafa Benitez says Papiss Cisse’s first goal in almost five months was important for the striker – but even more important for Newcastle United.
Cisse sparked the club’s comeback against Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday with a 48th-minute goal.
Newcastle trailed 2-0 at the break, but Cisse’s strike – and another goal from Jack Colback – saw the relegation-threatened club take what could prove to be an important Premier League point.
Injury-hit Cisse hadn’t scored since November’s 5-1 defeat to Saturday’s St James’s Park opponents Crystal Palace.
Asked about the far-post header, United manager Rafa Benitez said: “It was important for him.
“But it was massive for the team, the belief and the confidence.
“It was a crucial time, and it made us believe to keep fighting.”
Cisse is hoping to add to his three-goal tally in the final three games of the campaign.
“It’s been a long time since I scored a goal, and it’s very, very important for me to get it and some confidence,” he said.
“My objective is to try and keep this team in the Premier League, and that’s my only objective.
“Every game I try to do my best to help the team, to help the fans, so today I’m happy to score.”
Benitez now feels his team, unbeaten in three games, has “belief” it can come back when it goes behind.
He said: “I think they have the belief. They know we can change things ,and now it is easier for me to change the positions of the players. They have a better idea.”