Monday, September 25, 2017

Benitez calm as Newcastle fans ´think about Europe´

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 16 Sep 2017

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Newcastle United boss Rafael Benitez is not getting carried away by a run of three straight victories even if the club’s supporters are already “thinking about Europe”.

The Magpies saw off Stoke City 2-1 on Saturday to improve their Premier League points tally to nine points from five games, a tally they last managed to reach this early in the season when they finished fifth in the top flight under Alan Pardew in 2012.

But Benitez, who returned to the touchline following hernia surgery, is keeping his feet firmly on the ground.

“The fans, when you win so many games in a row, they are excited and thinking about Europe. For me it is one game at a time,” the former Real Madrid manager told the BBC.

“It is a very competitive league and we are learning from that.

“This group of players works very hard. Sometimes we have some problems, but with the chances we can create we know they can give us the points.”

After Xherdan Shaqiri cancelled out Christian Atsu’s opener, it was left to defender Lascelles to again prove the match-winner for Newcastle.

The captain headed in a Matt Ritchie corner for the second straight match following last weekend’s carbon-copy act against Swansea City.

“We had a lot of chances and it was a great intensity from the boys from the start,” Lascelles told Sky Sports.

“Ultimately it is three wins and we are really pleased, but today it could have been three, four, five goals.

“We will not get too complacent.”

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