Rafa Benitez reveals why Newcastle's win over Barnsley was so important

Dwight Gayle

Dwight Gayle

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Rafa Benitez feels Newcastle United have shown they have nothing to fear in the Championship.

Benitez's side beat Barnsley 2-0 last night to go top of the division.

Dwight Gayle scored both of United's goals at Oakwell, where Newcastle were backed by 5,501 fans.

READ MORE: Rafa Benitez reacts after Dwight Gayle sends Newcastle to the top of the league
United lead Norwich City, held to a 2-2 draw by Fulham at Craven Cottage, by a point ahead of Saturday's home game against Ipswich Town.

"Obviously, a lot of people talked about the Championship and said it would be a very difficult and physical competition," said Benitez.

"We knew what was coming, and we knew we would have a lot of games like this.

Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez

"If we can win matches like this, they are the games that can make a difference."

Gayle struck twice in the second half in front of Newcastle's travelling support.

There was little between the two sides before the break.

Benitez said: "It was a very professional performance. It was difficult, against a good team.

"We knew that they could push and press with intensity and physicality, and when they could, they played.

"We knew it could be like this. We had to work hard in the first half, and then when we scored the goal in the second half, it was more open and we had more chances."