Dwight Gayle is on fire, says Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez

Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez
Image: Rafa Benitez has hailed two-goal hero Dwight Gayle

Dwight Gayle earned the praise of boss Rafael Benitez after his second-half double secured a 2-0 win for Newcastle at Barnsley and sent them to the top of the Sky Bet Championship.

Gayle took his tally for the season to 11 and secured the Magpies a fifth away win of the campaign in front of nearly 6,000 travelling fans.

The striker's contribution pleased his manager, who said: "When you have players as clinical as Dwight, you will score goals.

"The team played well and created chances. His job is to be there, fighting with the centre-back and try to score if he gets a chance. He is on fire now, he is happy and we're all happy. I made it our priority in the summer to get him and Matt Ritchie to the club."

Highlights of Newcastle's 2-0 win over Barnsley in the Sky Bet Championship

On the game itself, Benitez continued: "It was a very professional performance. We needed to work hard, be strong physically against a good team who were pressing and pushing us.

"We did that in the first half, while scoring in the second half where we had more time, more space and possession and we could play in a different way. I am really pleased as we did what we had to do."

On the huge travelling support, he added: "The fans have been amazing from the beginning. I have felt their passion and their support. When we play away, it is clear they can make a difference. Now we have to make sure we have that sort of support from 52,000 fans at every home game."

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Newcastle United's Dwight Gayle celebrates his 2nd goal with Matt Ritchie during the Sky Bet Championship match at Oakwell, Barnsley.
Image: Newcastle United's Dwight Gayle celebrates his second goal with Matt Ritchie

Barnsley had the better of the first half with skipper Conor Hourihane and James Bree firing efforts inches wide as Newcastle's lively start petered out.

Gayle had the visitors' best chances, back-heeling one effort over the crossbar before smashing Newcastle ahead from close range in the 48th minute.

The former Crystal Palace forward added his second to seal victory 20 minutes later, rushing on to Ritchie's pass and lobbing onrushing Reds goalkeeper Adam Davies from 25 yards.

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