When Aleksandar Mitrovic scored in the final stages of the derby, it was great to see the likes of Andros Townsend celebrating so emphatically (see above) on the sidelines as Newcastle grabbed a lifeline.

Signed from Spurs in January, the winger had looked the only United player with any spark and threat in the opening half of the derby, before fading in the second half and eventually making way for Papiss Cisse.

Andros Townsend says he was sorry to see the change of Head Coach/Manager but clearly sees Rafa Benitez as a major upgrade on Steve McClaren.

The United player claims that the arrival of Rafa shows ‘how big’ Newcastle United is as a club – a Manager who ‘has won everything’.

With most fans accepting that avoiding relegation and Rafa Benitez being at Newcastle long-term are inextricably linked, Andros Townsend says that the players are capable of achieving survival and being able to ‘keep one of the best managers at Newcastle’.

Walking into the madhouse that is Newcastle United after not completing a full Premier League match for two years, the instant expectations were always going to be a little unreasonable on the winger.

However, hopefully his goal at Chelsea and some other promising signs will then progress into more goals, assists and the points that will save Newcastle.

With Sunderland now in the past, as Andros Townsend points out – Norwich is the biggest game…until the following one.

Andros Townsend:

“Getting Rafa Benitez to come to Newcastle just shows how big this club is.

“He has won everything around the world and has managed the best players – so it can only be a positive for us.

“We can stay up this season and we can keep one of the best managers at Newcastle.

“It has been fantastic with Rafa coming in but it is no secret I was disappointed when Steve McClaren left – they paid a lot of money to get me here and it was Steve who put his faith in me to get me here.

“This is football and you need to move on.

“You could have said that the derby was the biggest one of all time.

“Now, it is Norwich that is the biggest game of our careers – then it will be the game after that.

“Eight cup finals to come and we need to treat them all like that. We need to start picking up points sooner rather than later.”

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