Benitez Happy with Characters Shown in the Tough 2-1 win over Burton

Newcastle maintained their position in the top of the table after a close fought 2-1 win over Burton Albion during the weekend.

It was a crucial victory considering that rivals Brighton and Hove Albion have managed to win their game as well. Brighton have been able to close the gap on Newcastle in recent weeks. And there was a distinct possibility of the Seagulls taking the lead in the table just before the start of the New Year. It would have been a crucial advantage for the team, while it would have been a decisive blow for Newcastle who have been looking excellent since the start of the campaign.

As it is, the team were able to find a crucial second goal in the game through Mo Diame going into the second half. Dwight Gayle had given the lead in the 15th minute through an amazing effort, which continued the 26-year-old’s incredible form in the campaign. Dwight Gayle has now scored 17 goals in 18 appearances for the club this season

Even though Burton came up with several aggressive efforts in the second half, they were unable to claim the crucial equaliser which would have turned the game around. Benitez says that the steel and nerves shown by Newcastle was impressive indeed.

“We said before that it could be difficult and it was so I think we did well. We controlled the first half and were working so hard in the second half to defend and do well.I was pleased with the attitude, the teamwork and the character that we showed but I also congratulate them (Burton) because they were pushing us under massive pressure. We are top of the table, doing well and winning lots of games. I think we are finding the balance between playing nice football and having to work hard for the three points,” said Benitez.