Rafael Benítez insists that United victory will give Newcastle confidence for the remainder of the season

Rafael Benítez insists that United victory will give Newcastle confidence for the remainder of the season

The coach heaped praise on his side following the win over The Red Devils, insisting that the triumph will give them confidence for the rest of the campaign.

Danial Kennedy

Newcastle United coach Rafael Benítez insisted that Sunday's 1-0 win over Manchester United will give The Magpies "confidence" going into the remainder of the season, with Matt Ritchie's strike catapulting the Tyneside outfit back out of the relegation zone. 

We have to play with the same team spirit 

Many wrote off Newcastle of taking anything from the clash before a ball was kicked, having failed to win at St James' Park since October with the pressure only increased with Huddersfield Town's 4-1 win over Bournemouth dropping them into the relegation zone. 

They started well with Jonjo Shelvey going closest early on, and their defence did even better as they managed to soak up the increasing danger of José Mourinho's side with Anthony Martial going the closest in the first period. 

The pressure further increased in the second period with Alexis Sánchez having his effort cleared off the line, but despite that their rare venture forward in the second 45 minutes produced the only goal from Ritchie. 

United still managed to hold out for a crucial three points which sent them back into 13th, and Benítez stated that he believes the win give his side some major "confidence" going into the remaining 11 matches of the season. 

"[The win gives us] confidence for the rest of the season," Benítez insisted in his post-match press conference. "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," the Spaniard admitted to the gathered press. "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," he stated. "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," the coach said on the Magpie's previous performances at home. "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," Benítez added. "We showed the character, passion and commitment that we have shown for the rest of the season."

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He did well, but everyone was important 

Fans, pundits and journalists alike will have highlighted a number of Newcastle that stood out in the triumph of The Red Devils, but one man that stood out amongst the rest was goalkeeper Martin Dúbravka. 

The shot-stopper was making his debut for the club after his deadline day move, and it looked like the Slovakian looked right at home, coming for every cross and saving shots with some confidence. 

Benítez insisted that the goalkeeper "did well" in his curtain-raiser, but the Spaniard also insisted that the victory was down to more than one player. 

"He [Dubravka] did well," he said on the goalkeeper's debut. "He was composed and gave confidence to the team."

"The rest of the team helped and all the players worked so hard," the coach insisted. "So to say the 'keeper was important is not fair for the others, everybody was important." 

"Jonjo has quality on the ball," Benítez concluded on the midfielder's man of the match performance. "He is learning and if he can make the right decisions he is a very good player."