Rafa Benitez focused on keeping up momentum after third successive Newcastle win

The Newcastle captain ensured that Rafa Benitez's absence from the Liberty Stadium was not keenly felt

Benitez was in the dug-out after being forced to miss the 1-0 win at Swansea a week ago due to complications from hernia surgery.

Newcastle United climbed up to fourth in the table with a third successive Premier League win as Stoke City were unable to capitalise on some bad finishing from the home team.

Atsu drifting in at the back post, poke home a well-weighted cross for the opener before Xherdan Shaqiri curled in an equaliser from long range. "In fairness, their keeper made a couple of outstanding saves so we created a fair number of chances", Hughes told Sky Sports after the match.

He said: "We didn't play particularly well today - I didn't think we were poor, we just weren't particularly as good as we have been in recent weeks, so that's the disappointment".

"At the end, we were suffering a little bit because we didn't take the chances we had".


Apparently, everyone gives their absolute best as they compete for playing minutes, with Benitez a rewarder of hard work as opposed to having favourites. "We were not quite as accurate as we need to be".

Newcastle United have clinched a third consecutive win after beating Stoke City 2-1 in Saturday's Premier League encounter at St James' Park.

"They can enjoy it, we have to enjoy it, but we have to be sure that the next training session, we start correcting things and improving things and doing things in the way we are doing things at the moment".

The Newcastle winger scored the opening goal in their game against Stoke in Match Day 5. It's no time to feel sorry for ourselves.

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