Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez is happy with the display of his players even in the face of difficulty. United forced Reading FC to a goalless draw, stretching their unbeaten run to eleven matches.

Newcastle has faced a tough test as they played three away matches in eight days. They got victories in Brighton and Huddersfield before playing the draw, earning them seven crucial points as the season starts to wind down.

Though Brighton’s victory at Rotherdam reduces their advantage to three points, the club is on its way to securing a promotion to the Premier League.

“I’m quite happy with that return. To play these three games and get seven points is quite good, quite impressive. I am also pleased for the away fans as they always go back with a smile on their faces.

“Our good away form is down to the attitude of the players. They way they work, the confidence that they have, is the key,” the former Reds boss said.

Benitez took time to heap praises on the players for putting “everything into it.”

After the Reading clash, manager Jaap Stam said he expects that United would pull away from the rest to secure a promotion to the top flight at the end of the season.

“We played very well against a good side like Newcastle, I am very happy with the performance…I think we were stronger than Newcastle – we know what we can do and we are confident. This was against a side like this, who have a lot of quality with a good mamager,” Stam said.

When asked about the chances of the Magpies this year, he said:

“I think Newcastle will get away, they are a quality side. They are not giving many chances away. They can always break and create a chance to score a goal.”