Townsend says Rafa’s ideas “clicking” as Magpies look to beat drop

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What a difference a day makes.

Newcastle United and Sunderland won decisively on Saturday, putting the Northeast sides within sight of Premier League safety.

[ MORE: Taking stock of the muddled relegation picture ]

The Magpies earned their first win under Rafa Benitez with a 3-0 defeat of Swansea City at St. James Park, and the work they did on their goal differential means they are back to controlling their own destiny when it comes to catching Norwich (but not Sunderland. More on that here).

Andros Townsend has been lively even in defeat for Newcastle, and he was feeling it after scoring and winning on Saturday:

“It’s been a long time coming. We thoroughly deserved it today. The hard work on the training field has come to fruition. The manager’s ideas finally clicked into place.

“When you play away from home it’s always difficult but at home it’s different. The fans were great. It’s massively important to build on this – it’s a make or break week. Now on Tuesday the fans will be on our side and hopefully it’ll be a great night at St James’ Park. Having four out of the last six games at home is massive.”

The Magpies have a lot of work to do still, but have home field advantage Tuesday against a Man City squad handling its fifth match in 19 days.

Can Newcastle pull off a great escape?