Newcastle’s long awaited first win in the Championship came to fruition last night in a 4-1 dismantling of Reading at St James’ Park last night.
New signings reigned supreme with the latest arrivals to the club scoring all four goals.
Isaac Hayden opened his account and the scoring after poaching a deflected free kick. Gareth McCleary equalised just before the end of the first half, but Matt Ritchie put Newcastle back in the lead after the break with a well converted penalty.
Dwight Gayle then netted to twice to round off the rout, scoring a fantastic free kick and netting a great cross from Hayden.
After two losses in the first two games of the season, fans on Twitter had plenty to say about the victory.
Not everyone was quite so enthused by the performance, however.
No matter the Twitter reaction, the victory is a great step forward for Rafa Benitez’s side.
Former Newcastle player and full time talker Joey Barton has said that the Magpies lack leadership in the dressing room and need to reform their character if they want to win promotion this season.
The 33-year-old won promotion from the Championship in 2009/10 with the club, and in an interview with Talksport, said “They lack stuff that we had. We had a great captain and I don’t think they have got that.”
Barton added “I’m not having a pop at Jamaal Lascelles but he is young boy, hasn’t played a lot of games and been in the trenches and won stuff, although he will probably be a good skipper and leader in time to come.”
Barton spoke about a heavy preseason defeat in his time at the club that sparked a commitment to change in the side that went on to get promoted, and questioned whether the current side would be capable of doing that.
“Is there going to be that kind of inquest? I look around that place and think, who is going to start that? Who has got the ability or capability to get that going? And, if he does, is he on his own?
“There was five, six, seven of us and in the end you need the dressing room to be strong and you need real leadership within the group.”
The Championship is grueling campaign littered with colossal highs and dark, cold lows. Teams need a certain degree of mental fortitude to win promotion. Whether Newcastle possess that steel remains to be seen.
Despite a confident 4-1 victory over Reading, Rafa Benitez still expects his side to get “much better” going forward, in an interview with Chronicle Live.
The Magpies second half performance was solid, but Benitez knows his team can improve, but “how much? That’s difficult to quantify, but I am sure we will improve.”
“We’ll have bad games but I know that we will get better” said the Spaniard.
“Players could leave and players will come in before the end of the transfer window. At the moment it’s not easy for players to focus when they could leave, but we saw that against Reading.”
He believes, contrary to Joey Barton, that his side showed great spirit and fight against Reading.
“We showed good character after conceding just before half-time.
“We have to play well and show that character. It’s always important to get results, the way you get helps you grow in the future.
Featured image: All rights reserved by huisno1