By Emma Sanders
Rafa Benitez told Dwight Gayle he should silence people talking about his teeth by scoring against Leeds and writing his own headlines.
The striker netted two goals as Newcastle consolidated their position at the top of the Championship table with a 2-0 victory against Leeds on Sunday.
Gayle was already in the headlines prior to the clash after his front teeth were knocked out during a night out in Liverpool last weekend.
His manager told him the answer to quietening his critics was to score in Sunday afternoon’s fixture and take the attention away from his missing teeth.
“It was nothing. It was almost nothing I would say. I told him ‘listen, if you want to make sure nobody talks too much about that, score goals’ and he did,” said Benitez, as reported by the Mirror.
Gayle took advantage of a mistake from Robert Green after the Leeds goalkeeper was unable to push away Jack Colback’s floated cross from distance and the Newcastle striker reacted quickest to slot the ball home after 23 minutes.
He doubled his tally and Newcastle’s lead on the 54th minute after great build-up play from Vurnon Anita and Ayoze Perez.
The striker has now scored 13 goals in 13 league matches and is in excellent form as his side sit at the top of the table following nine straight victories.
They are now five points clear over Brighton in second place and are enjoying their best start to a league campaign since Kevin Keegan’s side secured promotion in 1992-93.
In other Newcastle news, Rafa Benitez has shared these selection difficulties following his side’s 2-0 victory against Leeds.