After watching Newcastle make it three wins in a row, Phil Thompson says that ‘there is a lot of confidence oozing through the side’.
Speaking on Sky Sports, the pundit says that he thought many Newcastle players didn’t have the ability and/or passion to handle the Premier League.
However, he now admits that the reality is that they are ‘rising to the occasion every game’.
Picking one player out to sum up Newcastle United this season, Phil Thompson says he had reservations about Jamaal Lascelles, but ‘he has been the rock that they (Newcastle) have built on’.
Talking about the reaction in general after Newcastle lost their opening two matches, Thompson now says ‘Crisis, what crisis?’.
Phil Thompson talking on Sky Sports:
“Newcastle were good.
“The biggest thing I can say about Newcastle is that there is a lot of confidence oozing through the side.
“Players that I thought didn’t have the ability, or passion, to do it every game, are rising to the occasion every game.
“No one more so than the match winner Lascelles. He has been the rock that they have built on.
“You can see he is the leader, he has been absolutely terrific.
“Newcastle should have been out of sight by half-time.
“Joselu has had two very good chances and just after half-time he has another one – really should have had a hat-trick against his former club.
“Joselu was maybe a little hyped up, wanting to prove himself. You could then go maybe that is reason why Mark Hughes let him go.
“You look at those three chances and you would like to think he will score goals for Newcastle if he keeps getting in these positions and they create the chances.
“Lascelles did what he did last week (meeting Ritchie’s corner) and it is a goal.
“This is three wins on the bounce – nine points, for Rafa.
“Crisis, what crisis?
“That (crisis) is what people were saying earlier on.
“Because of all their hype and their performance against Manchester United, they did think this was going to be easy.
“Newcastle were quicker to everything and they well deserved the victory.”
Stats from BBC Sport:
Newcastle 2 Stoke 1
Newcastle: Atsu 19, Lascelles 68
Stoke: Shaqiri 57
Possession was Stoke 58% Newcastle 42%
Total shots were Stoke 10 Newcastle 16
Shots on target were Stoke 13 Newcastle 14
Corners were Stoke 5 Newcastle 7
Referee: Stuart Attwell
Elliot, Yedlin, Lascelles, Clark, Mbemba, Ritchie, Hayden (Shelvey 69), Merino, Atsu, Perez (Diame 86), Joselu (Gayle 78)
Woodman, Manquillo, Murphy, Lejeune
Crowd: 51,795 (approx 1,500 Stoke)
(Read what Rafa Benitez had to say after beating Stoke Here)
(Alan Shearer a very happy man after Newcastle went top four – Read it Here)
(The instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to win over Stoke – Here)
(Give us your Newcastle v Stoke player ratings Here)
(Mark Hughes’ comments Here – he was watching a different game!)