Rafa Benitez reflects on Newcastle’s perfect October

Newcastle United's manager Rafael Benitez.
Newcastle United's manager Rafael Benitez.

Rafa Benitez hailed his Newcastle United side after they had a perfect October.

The club won all five of its Championship fixtures this month and also progressed in the EFL Cup.

Newcastle beat Preston North End 2-1 at Deepdale on Saturday to maintain their three-point advantage at the top of the division.

United lost their first two league games this season.

And Benitez feels the turnaround shows the character of his team, which has won six of its eight away fixtures.

Asked about the club’s six October wins, Benitez said: “It’s not easy when you start in a new division.

It’s great to see the team playing with the confidence they have at the moment.

Rafa Benitez

“It’s so difficult, and everyone is expecting that you will make the difference in every game. Then you start by losing the first two.

“The team is showing what it can do through the rest of this season, though, and we are doing well now.

“It’s great to see the team playing with the confidence they have at the moment.

“It pleases me a lot, because we need to be consistent if we want to do well and stay at the top of the table, which is our goal.”

Meanwhile, Preston manager Simon Grayson spoke of United’s ruthlessness in front of goal after the game.

“We asked questions of a really good team,” said Grayson. “The only difference was, when they got half a chance, they punished us.

“It was difficult to take, but I am immensely proud of what the players have done, how hard they have worked and what they did when they had the ball.

“We can draw a lot of positives from the game.”