Rafa: We knew Wigan would be ‘difficult’

Rafa Benitez
Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez could not hide his relief at seeing his Newcastle side secure a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Wigan Athletic.

The Toon cemented their place at the top of the Championship thanks to Marr Ritchie’s 57th-minute winner, after Michael Jacobs had cancelled out Dwight Gayle’s opener.

But there was a very nervy atmosphere in the final quarter as Latics pushed hard for a second equaliser.

“The main thing was to get three points,” Benitez acknowledged.

“We knew it was difficult, watching Wigan against Aston Villa we knew they do well.

“This mini league of eight games is now seven and we have won the first.

“The other teams have made mistakes so we have to concentrate on ourselves.

“The league table for us is that this is three points for us in the league.

“It was a win, I have to be happy.

“I would like to score five goals and be amazing, but at the moment we showed character, good reaction and personality.

“We have to take our chances. We can improve on a lot of things, but we do a lot of things well.

“But when you see Huddersfield losing or Brighton winning 1-0 it shows it is not easy.”