By 90Min
January 02, 2018

Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez thanked the travelling fans for their continued undying support as his side completed a positive festive fixture list with a 1-0 win against Stoke at the Bet365 Stadium on New Year's Day.

It was the first time the Magpies recorded back to back away wins in the Premier League since 2014 thanks to Ayoze Perez's second-half goal.

The fans stuck by their side as they endured a terrible rout, picking up just one point out of a possible 27, and Benitez acknowledged how vital they are to the club's success in his post match press conference as quoted by The Chronicle.

"The fans were really good. We have seen the fans away last year and this year, they are fantastic. When they travel so far away, it is a perfect day when you win and score and can celebrate in front of them. They will go back home with a smile on their faces.

"They were giving their support to our players, and maybe that made the players give a little bit more, if that is possible."

Newcastle have claimed seven points out of a possible 12 from their busy festive period (including a game against Manchester City), and Benitez was content with the point tally that has lifted them up to 13th.

"We would have taken what we have got (seven points from four games) if we had been offered it before Christmas. We started the season very well, but we went on a bad run and lost a little bit of confidence. The team was still working very hard though. 

"I have been telling everyone that the team have not given up, and have still be working as hard as they can, and I am pleased you have been able to see this on the pitch.

"This was another good example of a team working extremely hard against another team that was giving everything too. Stoke were working so hard, they made it very difficult for us."

Benitez also described his plans for the January transfer window among the ongoing takeover speculation surrounding the club.

"We are trying to do our best (with transfers), and we will see what can happen. But now it is about enjoying today and trying to concentrate on the next game. Everyone has to do his job."

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