Chancel Mbemba is relishing the opportunity to work under Rafael Benitez as he attempts to drag Newcastle out of the relegation mire.
The Spaniard celebrated his 56th birthday on Saturday with his first victory at the helm, a 3-0 win over Swansea which rekindled the club’s Premier League survival hopes.
Benitez’s rejuvenated side faces a stern test of its fledgling recovery when Manchester City head for St James’ Park on Tuesday evening, but Mbemba is determined to keep the ball rolling.
The 21-year-old said: “As a young player, it is absolutely fantastic to work with Rafa Benitez.
“He’s a fantastic coach and fantastic man manager.
“Football is a strange game but we just need to keep working hard to make sure we grind out those results. We need to do that for the fans – they deserve that and it’s what we are working hard to do.
“It’s the same for any game – you have to go into it believing you can win. We need to make sure we give the performance the fans want from us.
“They deserve it, they are always behind us and give us great motivation, so we will go out there and give 100 per cent for the shirt and the fans.”