After a final scoreline of Newcastle 3 Brentford 1, the visitors were looking for positives after the final whistle on Saturday afternoon.

Brentford midfielder Romaine Sawyers says that they can take out of the game the fact they ‘matched the best team in the league in the second half’.

As you can see from the stats below, Brentford almost matched Newcastle for possession (48% v 52%), but when it came to clear chances and of course goals, it’s clear that United deserved the win.

Brentford did look decent as the game wore on but if you’re honest you have to factor in that rather than going for more goals, Rafa Benitez tends to try and see out games with as little fuss as possible.

Sawyers says that the visitors made a slow start and once Newcastle punished them with two goals in the opening 16 minutes, the Magpies were in ‘cruise control’.

A deserved win for NUFC but yet further evidence that when you are so much on top, as Newcastle were in the first half, you have to take some of the numerous chances to truly kill off a game.

Romaine Sawyers:

“This is a place where if you start slow, like we did, you are going to get punished.

“We gave them the chance to get on top of the game and, once they did, they were on cruise control.

“We came out with a plan in the second-half and we knew the third goal, for either team, was going to be crucial. They got it and after that we sprung into the Brentford that we know.

“When we look back on today we know within ourselves that we didn’t get things right. We didn’t play to the standards that we have set ourselves. The standards have been high and the performances have been high but we started slowly.”

“It is a tough place to come.

“They will win more than they will lose here and we matched, if not bettered them, for the last half an hour of the game.

“We have to come away with the respect that we have matched the best team in the league in the second-half.

“We finished the game with a bit more respect and we have just got to build on that for another big game (away at Derby) on Tuesday. That is a massive positive to take into Tuesday.

“As soon as you lose a game you want the next one to come quickly. We should be able to take our mind off this one and perform on Tuesday.”

Here are the stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 3 Brentford 1

Goals – 

Newcastle: Clark 11, Gayle 16,49

Brentford: Hogan 52

Possession was Brentford 48 % Newcastle 52%

Total shots were Brentford 7 Newcastle 15

Shots on target were Brentford 2 Newcastle 6

Corners were Brentford 5 Newcastle 5

Newcastle starting 11:

Darlow, Anita, Clark, Lascelles (Hanley 60), Dummett, Atsu (Yedlin 72), Gouffran (Lazaar 84), Colback, Shelvey, Perez, Gayle

Unused Subs:

Sels, Hayden, Mitrovic, Diame

Referee: Simon Hooper

Crowd: 51,885

(To view the fan player ratings and to add your own in our interactive system go HERE)

(To read the instant Newcastle fan/writer reaction go HERE)

(Go HERE for the views of Brentford Head Coach Dean Smith on the 3-1 defeat)