Benitez praises Newcastle’s hard work

Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez was delighted with his side's work ethic in the 1-0 Premier League victory over Stoke City on Monday.

The Magpies clinched their second win in four league games thanks to a 73rd-minute strike from Ayoze Perez, lifting them from 16th to 13th position in the standings, four points clear of the bottom three.

Benitez was particularly impressed by the way his players continued to put in the hard yards against the Potters and grind out the vital win at the bet365 Stadium.

"We started really well this season then we had a bad run and lost confidence – but still the team was working hard," Benitez said, according to Sky Sports.

"It is one thing me as a manager saying the players are working and don't give up, but you could see it today. It was an example of a team working hard.

"Stoke worked so hard and it was difficult for us."