Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Players Showed the Way and the Fans Responded ...That Is Why This United Team Deserve the Name MILLERS POSE A DANGER; CELEBRATIONS SHOW STRENGTH OF SIDE, INSISTS BOSS

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Players Showed the Way and the Fans Responded ...That Is Why This United Team Deserve the Name MILLERS POSE A DANGER; CELEBRATIONS SHOW STRENGTH OF SIDE, INSISTS BOSS

Article excerpt

Byline: LEE RYDER Chief Sports Writer lee.ryder@ncjmedia.com @lee_ryder

RAFA Benitez believes Newcastle United are finally starting to live up to their name.

The pandemonium that surrounded Dwight Gayle's winning goal and the subsequent post-game celebrations resulted in fans and players embracing the moment together as the final whistle sounded.

Before that, even the players who had been taken off and those who were unused subs sprinted down the track to reach their team-mates.

Then there was a mini lap of honour by some players while Aleksandar Mitrovic threw his shirt into the crowd. Yes, it was only three points in the Sky Bet Championship, but Benitez hopes that the result set an important precedent for the club. He told the Chronicle: "The atmosphere we had at the end was massive.

"The fans were pushing the players and giving everything. What the players did was show the way - and that's the way we have to continue.

"We have to be Newcastle UNITED, as I have said before."

Benitez was delighted to see his players celebrate together, especially those who hadn't been involved.

But he feels that the role of players like Mitrovic, Isaac Hayden and Christian Atsu when they came on made a big difference.

He said: "If you think about the subs they gave us energy and balance.

"Atsu was playing as a left-back and putting in crosses. You might play five minutes but in that time you can help the team.

"Sometimes you have to do it." Now Benitez wants to see more of the same when his side travel to the New York Stadium to take on Rotherham United.

And he won't sweat too much about missed chances as long as his players are working hard enough to create more. He said: "We had chances against Villa then again for the Norwich game.

"Against Villa, we conceded at the end but then we scored at the end against Norwich so football can be like this.

"Anything can happen. I have spoken to Dwight and told him to keep working hard.

"If he does, he will have more chances. If he has chances along with the other strikers they will score goals. …

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