Rafa: We needed to win this


By Pete Hall at St James’ Park

Last Updated: 23/02/19 6:09pm










2:02

Rafael Benitez says the match against Huddersfield was one they 'needed to win' and called on his players to continue their strong home form

Rafael Benitez says the match against Huddersfield was one they ‘needed to win’ and called on his players to continue their strong home form

Rafael Benitez insisted Newcastle “needed” their 2-0 win over Huddersfield, while reserving special praise for new signing Miguel Almiron and young Sean Longstaff.

Second half goals from Salomon Rondon and Ayoze Perez helped Newcastle pick up their third successive home win in the Premier League, with 10-man Huddersfield, who had captain Tommy Smith sent off after just 20 minutes, unable to put up any resistance.

The win moves Newcastle four points clear of the relegation zone, with the significance of the victory at St James’ not lost on Benitez.

Highlights from Newcastle's 2-0 win over Huddersfield in the Premier League Highlights from Newcastle's 2-0 win over Huddersfield in the Premier League

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“I was really pleased with the performance of the players,” Benitez told Sky Sports. “Obviously it was more difficult for them with ten players, but they still had chances at the beginning.

“We created a lot of chances – I think we hit the crossbar or the post four times. We needed to win, and we won well.

“It does not matter for me whether we pick up three points at home or away, but as we play Burnley next at home, hopefully we can carry our good home run.”

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Huddersfield's Jan Siewert says that Tommy Smith's first half red card 'broke them' as they fell to a 2-0 defeat at Newcastle

Huddersfield’s Jan Siewert says that Tommy Smith’s first half red card ‘broke them’ as they fell to a 2-0 defeat at Newcastle

Record signing Miguel Almiron impressed on his full debut for Newcastle, with the continued form of Sean Longstaff also pleasing for Benitez.

“He [Almiron] was doing what we were expecting,” Benitez said. “He has energy, he is running all over the pitch. He is trying to link with other players. I think it was a great game for him and the fans to enjoy.

“He [Longstaff] is doing well and has the support of the players around him. He is quite focused, is a good lad and a good professional. He is trying to learn and is doing well. Hopefully he can do well for a while.”

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