Rafa Benitez was understandably a happy man when he faced the media after Newcastle’s win over Bristol City.

Dwight Gayle scored from Newcastle’s only shot on target but that didn’t bother the United boss.

Rafa saying, “It is important to be able to create and score goals but you also need to show spirit and be able to play in this way – it was a big step forward.”

After seeing sloppy defending give away goals in all the previous three games, he will have been relieved to see a clean sheet and a defence showing much better concentration.

As for his signing from Crystal Palace, Rafa Benitez said, “Dwight Gayle has great movement, a clever lad and he can score goals.”

A clever lad indeed and with four goals in his last three matches, Gayle could prove to be an inspired signing by the Newcastle manager.

Rafa Benitez:

“I was really pleased for the players and for the fans, for everyone.

“It was quite difficult and we needed to do well and work as a team – they were playing a lot of long balls, set-pieces and second balls.

“We showed character and spirit today, we will need that for the rest of the season.

“We must keep working as hard as we did today and then show the quality.

“It is important to be able to create and score goals but you also need to show spirit and be able to play in this way – it was a big step forward.

“Bristol City had different options, different ways of playing and I think they will do well this season.

“Dwight Gayle has great movement, a clever lad and he can score goals.

“We saw all of that today, the good movement, good pass and good finish.

“Dwight can play in the Premier League for sure – he has played there before and…hopefully, he can play there for us in the next two years or so.”

(To read instant Newcastle fan/writer reaction to the match go HERE, to watch Dwight Gayle’s winner go HERE, and to view the interactive fan ratings for each player and add your own go HERE)

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