Rafa Benitez says that beating Manchester City was more than just a win as his side climb up the table following their second straight win in the Premier League.
He said: “It feels really good. We didn’t just win, we won against a very good team. Everyone wanted to see how long we could defend without conceding but we did within the first minute but everyone reacted well.
“We tried to counter-attack and score when we could. I am really pleased with the players and the fans behind the team.
“To get three points this way… The players played for the shirt, the fans and for everyone. They give everything every game and the fans appreciate that. They work very hard so it’s important they carry on doing the same.”
The 58-year-old spoke about his team’s reaction after conceding just seconds after the first whistle.
He said: “The goal we conceded was not in the plan! But we tried to stick with the plan and continue until the end. The main thing is to stick together and we did it. People weren’t expecting a win against Man City but everyone was thinking of what they had to do for the team. Everyone should be pleased.”
The manager also had praise for Matt Ritchie. The midfielder kept his cool and took the penalty which proved to be the difference maker in this game.
He said: “Matt Ritchie enjoys taking penalties. In training he is quite good so we were confident. He did well.”
With regards to transfers, it would seem big business is about to happen at St. James’ Park. Benitez said: “I knew before the game we were doing some business so hopefully we can finish everything tomorrow and have some good news. We are working on some things.
“It is a long distance race so we have to carry on. We are a little bit better now than what we were before the game but we have to carry on.”