Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez has praised both Daryl Murphy and Mo Diame after their victory over Huddersfield Town at the weekend, despite the return of Dwight Gayle, reports the Shields Gazette.
The Magpies ran out 3-1 winners over their Yorkshire rivals, to open up an 11-point gap to third place, putting Benitez’s side into a commanding position in the race for promotion.
Murphy and Diame were paired in attack, ahead of Gayle, who was returning from a hamstring injury, which kept him out of Newcastle’s clashes with Bristol City and Brighton.
Benitez’s faith in Murphy was repaid, as the striker scored Newcastle’s second goal of the game, following Matt Ritchie’s opener.
Following a result which saw the Magpies open up a five-point gap at the top of the Sky Bet Championship, the former Liverpool and Chelsea manager said: “I would say first of all that I was pleased with Murphy and Diame.
“They worked and put a lot of effort in.”
With Huddersfield pressing the game, following Aaron Mooy’s penalty, Benitez opted to bring on Gayle, who punished a goalkeeping error in stoppage time to round off an important victory for the Magpies.
Benitez continued: “It was the right time to bring Dwight on, because Daryl was getting a bit tired.
“It’s important for us to have a player like that who creates chances and scores.”
Following back-to-back victories over Brighton and Huddersfield, Newcastle now look set for a Premier League return.
The Magpies travel to Reading on Tuesday evening for another clash with a promotion rival.
Newcastle fans… Who would you start in attack on Tuesday? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!