Jamaal Lascelles was well pleased with his team’s efforts after Reading 0 Newcastle o, especially when it came to the defence.
The first goalless draw of the season made it seven points from nine on the road, after the trickiest week of the season.
Jesus Gamez was the third right-back used in these three matches and Lascelles pointed to the Spaniard’s (and others) patience as an important factor in Newcastle’s success.
The 33 year old defender was Captain of Malaga and a La Liga stalwart for both them and Atletico Madrid, as well as playing Champions League football, yet Tuesday night was only his second Championship start of the season.
In over four and a half hours of football in the past week, Newcastle haven’t conceded a single goal in normal play, only the two soft penalties at Brighton and Huddersfield going past the likes of Lascelles and keeper Karl Darlow.
Rafa Benitez builds his sides from the back and sets great store by discipline and organisation, his players have done him great credit in this trio of matches, proof that it is character more than anything else that looks set to see Newcastle return to the Premier League at the first attempt.
Newcastle now make a welcome return to St James Park and a home game against Fulham, who are one of the form teams in the second tier and desperately battling to get into the play-offs.
With 10 games to go, Rafa Benitez will be taking no prisoners when it comes to instilling in the players the fact that it is not quite a job completed just yet.