Newcastle star says 'This is just the start' after victory at Stoke

Davide Zappacosta of Chelsea celebrates with teammates Pedro and Marcos Alonso after scoring his sides fifth goal

Davide Zappacosta of Chelsea celebrates with teammates Pedro and Marcos Alonso after scoring his sides fifth goal

Hughes is scheduled to brief the media ahead of the Potters' FA Cup third-round tie against Coventry City after a second successive Premier League defeat at home to Newcastle plunged them into further relegation trouble.

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez has explained to The Shields Gazette his decision to deploy Christian Atsu upfront against Stoke City.

The former Norwich player had already shown his growing confidence when playing away at Chelsea and Man Utd and no doubt that has helped him to develop into an improving player.

A bit early to say Jacob Murphy is going to really make it but certainly he is heading in the right direction.

The Ghana worldwide was paired with striker Ayoze Perez upfront, and the duo combined well during their time on the pitch.

Murphy was given a standing ovation by the club's 3,168 travelling fans at the bet365 Stadium.

"What a positive way to start the year, massive three points thanks for your support", Atsu wrote on Twitter.

"It was the flawless way to start the year", said Murphy.

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"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".

Stoke have now lost five of their last seven matches, conceding 17 goals in the process, and find themselves two points above the dropzone having played two games more than 18th-placed West Ham United.

"I was buzzing with that and I've been smiling ever since I got into the dressing room, and the lads are buzzing for me as well, I'm delighted".

"We change players, but they know what they have to do, and hopefully when they have to do it in a game, it will be fine".

But those were set by me and my staff, so we need to do something about it and that's what we'll endeavour to do.

"We knew it was an important game but we came up short".

Possession was Stoke 59% Newcastle 41%.

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