Rafa Benitez wants Newcastle to build on confidence gained from Watford win

Rafa Benitez has called for his Newcastle side to use the victory over Watford as a springboard for their season.

Newcastle recorded their first Premier League win of the campaign as they defeated Watford 1-0 at St James’ Park thanks to Ayoze Perez’s 65th-minute goal.

Having failed to win any of their opening 10 league games of a season for just the second time in their history, the relief around the ground was clear to see when the striker headed home.

Newcastle are back at St James’ Park next Saturday when Bournemouth will be the visitors and Benitez wants to use the momentum of this victory against the Cherries.

The Magpies boss said: “We needed the first win to have more confidence and hopefully we can play with the same intensity as we did today and score a couple more goals.”

The victory, which lifts Newcastle out of the relegation zone, may have come at a cost, though, as Benitez lost Jamaal Lascelles, Jonjo Shelvey and Yoshinori Muto to injuries.

The Spaniard was, however, pleased with the manner in which his players adapted to the unusual situation of making all three substitutions inside 51 minutes.

He said: “We had three problems, three substitutions – the reaction of players was quite good against a very good team. It’s a great three points. It was a difficult game as they have confidence – we could have conceded but we could have scored the second goal. It was a good game for the fans to watch. I’m really pleased with the performance.

“We needed energy and commitment from everyone. Normally players need time to settle down but my players were focused and knew what they have to do.”

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