Rafa Benitez reveals what he told Ayoze Perez before he scored Newcastle's winner

Rafa Benitez insists that Newcastle United must continue to remain focused in the task ahead as they moved closer towards Premier League safety.

Saturday, 31st March 2018, 6:37 pm
Updated Saturday, 31st March 2018, 9:20 pm
Newcastle's players at the final whistle (Pic: Frank Reid)

Ayoze Perez's 80th-minute strike gave Newcastle a vital 1-0 victory over Huddersfield Town this afternoon.

The club's third successive home win sent the club seven points clear of the relegation zone.

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United manager Benitez said: “We have won three in a row at home, which is good as we have grown stronger mentally and we understand much better that these games need to be approached in the right kind of way.

“We know how important every single point is. The players have given everything like they have done all season.”

Benitez was aware of the visitor's threat but was adamant that his side kept their composure whilst under pressure from the visitors.

He said: “Huddersfield were well organised and physically strong, so it was a question of trying to stay calm and taking your chances which we did not do in the first-half. However, we stayed organised in order to control the game.

Newcastle's players at the final whistle (Pic: Frank Reid)

“There was a period of time in the second half where they were starting to counter-attack, which was what we needed to control.

“I was telling all the players to stay calm and to keep going to give Huddersfield no hope of scoring. In the end, I believe we deserved to win.

“We created enough to go ahead. I told Ayoze to remain calm as he was trying to be involved in too many things. I told him to stay in his position, and if if you have one chance, take it which he did."

Despite the victory, Benitez knows that Newcastle, now 12th in the table, aren't quite out of the woods just yet.

Ayoze Perez scores Newcastle's winner

He added: “Forty points is the target. We are happy with the result, but we need to carry on.

“The relationship between the players and fans is good at home, and we are showing confidence on the pitch, which makes the supporters believe that we can win at St James's Park.

“We must approach each game in the same way and take each match one step at a time. We still have to play many games against strong teams.”

Newcastle's players at the final whistle (Pic: Frank Reid)
Ayoze Perez scores Newcastle's winner