Rafa Benitez reacts after Newcastle go 10 points clear of Huddersfield

Rafa Benitez
Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez says he's taking nothing for granted after Newcastle United went 10 points clear of third-placed Huddersfield Town.

Benitez's side beat Wigan Athletic 2-1 at St James's Park this afternoon to maintain their one-point advantage over second-placed Brighton and Hove Albion, who beat Blackburn Rovers 1-0 at the Amex Stadium.

Crucially, Huddersfield were beaten 1-0 by Burton Albion, who netted in injury time at the John Smith's Stadium.

And Newcastle now have a comfortable cushion between themselves and the play-off places, though Leeds United could move up to third and narrow that gap with a win over Reading at the Madejski Stadium this evening.

Dwight Gayle and Matt Ritchie were on target against struggling Wigan, who made life difficult for United.

“The main thing was to get three points," said United manager Benitez. "We knew it was difficult. Watching Wigan against Aston Villa, we knew they do well.

“This mini-league of eight games is now seven, and we have won the first. The other teams have made mistakes, so we have to concentrate on ourselves. The league table for us is that this is three points for us in the league. It was a win. I have to be happy.

“I would like to score five goals and be amazing, but at the moment we showed character, good reaction and personality to manage ourselves on the ball."

Benitez is looking for an improvement against Burton at St James's Park on Wednesday night.

“We have to take our chances," he said. "We can improve on a lot of things, but we do a lot of things well.

"But when you see Huddersfield losing or Brighton winning 1-0, it shows it is not easy.

“We need a little more composure on the ball in the final third, and then we will score more than we need. We are so close so we have to do well and not suffer. We have to make sure we recover quickly, and hopefully do better against Burton.”