By 90Min
March 10, 2019

Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez was full of praise for his team's belief, confidence and willingness to overturn a 2-0 deficit against Everton at St James' Park. 

The Magpies were arguably favourites going into the game having won their last four home Premier League matches. However, after conceding two first half goals, in addition to missing a penalty, the Toon seemed to be on the verge of ending that streak. Yet a monumental second-half comeback, inspired by goals from Salomon Rondon and Ayoze Perez (2) saw Newcastle win 3-2 and make it five wins out of their last five matches at home. 

Nigel Roddis/GettyImages

The Spanish manager was ecstatic and overjoyed by his players' response to going behind in the first half. He was particularly impressed by his striking force of Perez, Rondon and MIguel Almiron who combined on a few occasions to threaten Everton's goal.

"The first goal was a great goal - I was joking that if Lionel Messi had done what Ayo did and Alan Shearer finished like Rondon, everybody would have been talking for a month about that," said Benitez, speaking to BBC Sport

"We didn't deserve to be losing 2-0 but you have to react and at half-time we talked about staying calm - it was really difficult to keep the players calm but they understood that that was the way.

"To concede one minute after missing a penalty is the worst nightmare for any manager but we reacted well. The players were pushing and pushing and they had the belief and confidence we could do it.

"We have more confidence but we have to keep winning."

Speaking to Sky Sports, Benitez addressed the change in formation which led to Newcastle's sensational second half display.

"Normally I say to the players stay calm at half time, score one goal and get back into the game. In the first half we had chances to score but they scored two goals.

"We changed the shape of the team - with Ritchie on the right and four at the back. We were winning more second balls in the second half. The players deserve to win these five games [in a row at home]."

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