Rafa Benitez tells of his ‘pride’ after Newcastle’s dramatic late win over Norwich

Dwight Gayle
Dwight Gayle

Rafa Benitez told of his pride after Newcastle United came from behind to beat Norwich City in a dramatic finale.

“I am the kind of manager who gets excited inside,” said Benitez, whose team climbed up to third place in the Championship after the result.

“When I see the team reacting, I am really proud of them. Some people will jump or run, I am happy inside.

“It is something that is difficult to achieve when you have a group of players who have to really come through in these circumstances. They are working so hard and doing so well.”

Benitez talked of the “amazing” noise inside St James’s Park after Gayle and Gouffran netted in injury time.

“Every year, every game, every stadium is different, but to feel the fans here when you are scoring goals and winning games like that is amazing,” he said.

I was not jumping, but I was there in the middle.

“I think that we deserved to win, and we certainly deserved to be ahead easily in the first half, against a good team.

“In the second half, it was incredible that we could be losing 1-3.

“We made one mistake for the penalty, and then another one or two mistakes in the second half. But still the team was reacting and pushing.

“They played five at the back and dropped off a little bit, and we were able to attack more. And then all the bad luck we had in the first half became good luck in the second half. In the end, I think that we deserved to win.”

On his celebration, Benitez added: “I celebrated a little bit. Normally I am fairly calm, but I was celebrating in the middle of the pitch with the players and with the fans. I try to stay calm because I know there are still a lot of months to play, and we still have to improve little things we need to improve.

“I was not jumping, but I was there in the middle.”