News. Jacob's joy at Magpies' 'perfect start' to 2018

01 Jan 18

Newcastle United winger Jacob Murphy said laying on the winning goal for Ayoze Pérez in Monday’s 1-0 win at Stoke City was the “perfect way” for him to start 2018.

Murphy’s surging run and cross from the right gave Pérez the chance to tuck away the crucial goal for Rafa Benítez’s side, as they made it seven points from their last four games with victory at the bet365 Stadium.

And afterwards the 22-year-old told that he feels he’s beginning to show what he’s capable of after a stop-start first few months in black and white.

“It was the perfect way to start the year. I’m over the moon to start 2018 with my first Premier League assist for Newcastle - I couldn’t think of a better way to do it,” he said.

“This is just the start. I can’t get too ahead of myself after just setting up one goal, but I’ll keep working hard and pushing forward to create more chances for the boys.

“I’m a lot more relaxed going into games now, I’m feeling less pressure, and I can go out there and play my own game. I’m a confidence player, and you need that confidence to go into games and do what you want to do.”

Former Norwich City man Murphy was given a warm ovation by the 3,200 travelling supporters when he was withdrawn just after the hour against Mark Hughes’ men.

“I was buzzing with that,” he admitted. “I’ve been smiling ever since I got into the dressing room, and the lads are buzzing for me as well. I’m delighted.”

The win over the Potters brings the traditionally hectic festive period to a close, with Luton Town the Magpies’ next opponents at St. James’ Park on Saturday (3pm kick-off).

Wins at Stoke and West Ham, along with a point from the home game against Brighton, represents a decent return from a challenging few weeks of league action.

And England Under-21 international Murphy – who thought Benítez’s charges could have had a greater margin of victory on Monday – believes it is just reward for United’s efforts of late.

“I think with the chances that we had, we shouldn’t have been further in front, but it wasn’t to be. We had to show a lot of character to stay in the game, and we did,” he said.

“We’ve worked hard. There has been a lot of games in a short period of time, a lot of chopping and changing, but all the boys have been ready, they’ve been preparing well and on reflection, we’ve got some good results.”

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