Benitez: Newcastle worked hard for victory

Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez believes the 1-0 Premier League victory over Manchester United on Sunday will do wonders for the team’s confidence.

The scores remained level at 0-0 until the half-time break, but Matt Ritchie produced the decisive strike in the 65th minute to secure all three points for the Magpies.

The victory lifted Benitez’s side from 16th to 13th in the standings and the Spaniard is hoping his players can maintain the commitment they showed against the Red Devils.

“[The win gives us] confidence for the rest of the season,” Benitez told Sky Sports. “My message before the game was very clear. We knew Huddersfield had won, we needed to carry on and do our job and still, we have 11 games to play and we have to play with the same team spirit.

“When you play a top side like Manchester United you know every ball is important because if you make a mistake they will punish you. You have to work like they did today, it was an amazing effort.

“We were doing well for a while and then we were defending but the teamwork and the way they fought for every ball was amazing. I am really pleased for the players and the fans because we did it here at home.

“We have had some games where in the last five or 10 minutes where we have conceded and today we were a bit lucky in some of the shots they had.

“But still the team worked so hard and in this kind of game, anything can happen. We showed the character, passion and commitment that we have shown for the rest of the season.”