Newcastle United are at last displaying just how talented a team they are as they continue to brush aside their Championship opposition. The team finally seem to be gelling together and performing as they should, but manager Rafael Benitez has told the Chronicle Live that they must play as a team, and not allow individuals to carry the side.
Newcastle were in fine form yet again against Brentford as Dwight Gayle scored twice to continue his superb scoring run, while Ciaran Clark chipped in with another goal. Truth be told, it was a fairly comfortable win for the Magpies who have now recorded eight victories in the Championship this campaign.
With Huddersfield falling to beat Sheffield Wednesday on Sunday, Newcastle are now in second place on goal difference, with only Norwich City sitting above them.
Newcastle now face a very interesting test in the form of free scoring Barnsley. While tonight's opposition have scored 23 times this season, they have also conceded 20 goals, an area Benitez will feel his own goal machine of a team will be able to target.
This season has been one in which the players have stood up to be counted. In recent weeks though, the performances of Jonjo Shelvey have caught the eye, with the midfielder receiving praise from across the league.
However, Benitez has warned against his side becoming dependent on one or two players. He told the Chronicle Live: "Hopefully, we will have other players doing well. We have 12 players scoring goals and that’s quite good but it is important to have more people involved and making the difference.
"When you have just one or two players it is easy for other teams to stop them from playing well.
"So you have different players and areas of the pitch and that will make it more difficult for them and we will have more chances to win more games".
It seems that the Newcastle players were already very aware of their manager's wishes then, with the entire team usually stepping up to the mark.
While the likes of Shelvey and Gayle garner huge amounts of praise for their goals and assists, the contributions of the players that work behind the scenes cannot, and should not, be underestimated.