Jamie Sterry has revealed Rafa Benitez’s message to him at Newcastle United.
The defender made his full debut for the club in Wednesday night’s 2-0 EFL Cup win over Cheltenham Town.
Sterry, promoted to the first-team squad this season by Benitez, played the full 90 minutes at St James’s Park.
“It’s incredible,” said the 20-year-old. “Hopefully I can play more games over the coming weeks and months.
“It’s what I need to do, because I haven’t played 90 minutes in a while.
“It’s brilliant playing in front of the fans, and I just need to keep working really hard.”
Hopefully I can play more games over the coming weeks and months. It’s what I need to do, because I haven’t played 90 minutes in a while.Jamie Sterry
Ayoze Perez scored both goals for United, who take on Brighton and Hove Albion at home in the Championship tomorrow evening.
“It’s obviously difficult playing against a lower-league team, and that first goal is always very, important,” said Sterry.
“I thought we worked very hard, and it was just good to get the win in the end.”
Benitez handed Sterry his debut off the bench in the final game of last season against Tottenham Hotspur, which Newcastle won 5-1.
And United’s manager has given Sterry plenty of encouragement since taking charge at St James’s Park.
“He’s told me I just need to be patient, keep working hard and hopefully my chance will arrive,” he said.
“It’s all about encouragement from him to keep doing what I’m doing.”
Sterry feels seventh-placed Newcastle have some “momentum” after three successive wins.
“We need to keep this momentum going, put in the hard work and get another win on Saturday,” said the right-back.