Lascelles gives Newcastle third successive win

Newcastle United's English defender Jamaal Lascelles celebrates scoring his team's first goal with teammates Newcastle United's Spanish striker Mato Joselu and Newcastle United's

Newcastle displayed all the battling qualities Stoke used to take pride in.

But there was nothing Elliott could do to deny Shaqiri six minutes later when he drilled a low effort past the keeper's out-stretched arm and into the bottom corner.

It was the ideal way for Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez, recovered from a post-operation infection, to celebrate his return to the dugout after he missed Lascelles scoring the victor at Swansea last weekend.

And despite the fantastic run of form, Benitez wants his players to keep the momentum going.

Apparently, everyone gives their absolute best as they compete for playing minutes, with Benitez a rewarder of hard work as opposed to having favourites.

"Maybe we can lose games, but we have to believe we can win".

The confidence in the team is high as the home side are heading into this match on the back of two successive league wins against West Ham United and Swansea City. "It's a long season, when you talk about the Premier League, any league, you talk about nine months so it's a long season and we have to make sure every week we have a player that has improved a little bit or a group of players that have improved a lot or whatever".

He said: "We didn't play particularly well today - I didn't think we were poor, we just weren't particularly as good as we have been in recent weeks, so that's the disappointment".

Stoke certainly won't be easy opponents, however, having held Manchester United to a 2-2 draw last weekend, with Hughes' side possessing a significant attacking threat.