Rafa Benitez reacts to Dwight Gayle’s first Newcastle goal in five months

Dwight Gayle
Dwight Gayle

Dwight Gayle has been given a big lift by his first Newcastle United goal in more than five months, according to Rafa Benitez.

Dwight Gayle has been given a big lift by his first Newcastle United goal in more than five months, according to Rafa Benitez.

Everybody has very good players, but we have confidence. We have to keep working as hard as (against Man United).

Rafa Benitez

Gayle netted in Saturday’s 4-1 defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford.

The goal was the first conceded by Jose Mourinho’s second-placed side in the Premier League at home since April.

Gayle, the club’s top scorer in the Championship last season with 23 goals , has started Newcastle’s last two games up front with Joselu.

And United manager Benitez – whose side has struggled in front of goal so far this season – was pleased to see Gayle get off the mark.

“I think it’s important for all the strikers to score goals,” said Benitez.

“The way that we did things, and with him (Gayle) scoring that goal, I think also will be very positive for his confidence and also for the confidence of the team, because we know that we need everyone helping and trying to do the best for the team.”

Newcastle were the better team for 30 minutes at Old Trafford.

Gayle put Benitez’s side into an early lead with a first-time finish from a DeAndre Yedlin pull-back, but Man United fought back and led 2-1 at the break.

And Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku netted in the second half.

“I think that the players realise that that was a very difficult team (to play),” said Benitez.

“We needed to well for 90 minutes. We did well for 30, so that’s the positive.

“We know that we have to carry on doing the same thing that we did in the first half. If we do, we will get results against other teams.”

Mid-table United entertain Watford at St James’s Park on Saturday.

“We know that’s it’s not an easy game, because that’s the Premier League,” Benitez told NUFC TV.

“Everybody has very good players, but we have confidence. We have to keep working as hard as (against Man United).”