Rafa Benitez hails 'really important victory' as Newcastle move six points clear of bottom three
Last Updated: 15/12/18 7:51pm
Rafa Benitez hailed Newcastle's "really important" win at Huddersfield which moved the north-east club six points clear of the relegation zone.
Benitez's side bounced back from a run of just one point from their last three games to seal a hard-fought, backs-to-the wall victory at the John Smith's Stadium and move up to 14th in the Premier League.
The magnitude of the win was not lost on the Newcastle boss, who also paid tribute to the opposition after they enjoyed more than 70 per cent possession without finding a way through.
"It was a really important for us, and them, so to get three points here in the way that we did, with a big effort from every player, is always something you have to be satisfied with," he said.
"We tried to play on the counterattack and defend well, against a good team. They were pushing, with a lot of crosses, balls in the air and when they wouldn't do that they tried to do it with penetrating passes through the middle instead."
Benitez was more pleased with his side's performance after half-time, during which they created far more - and scored the only goal - than in a first 45 minutes light on chances from both teams.
"We had to deal with all these situations, but in the first half we gave the ball away a little bit cheaply," he said. "We were stronger in the second half and they didn't have the space, it wasn't easy for them, and we knew we would have to play on the counterattack.
"We scored a goal, we had another which was not offside, but that's it - we got the three points. They are a good team, they worked hard and will do until the end. We have to carry on and I'm sure they will do too."