AMID the pandemonium of St James’ Park celebrating a terrific comeback, Newcastle United clawing their way back from 2-0 down to win 3-2, one man remained a vision of calm: Rafael Benitez.

Typical of his measured approach, the Magpies manager reacted to Ayoze Perez’s dramatic winning goal in the closing stages of Saturday’s win by issuing instructions, eager not to let Everton off the hook.

“I wanted to know how long there would be left and the position of their midfield,” explained Benitez.

“Because they changed their shape. All these things. Someone has to stay calm and think and give advice. That’s my job.”

His backroom staff showed as little restraint as the jubilant Newcastle supporters as they, quite naturally, became enraptured in the moment.

Benitez added: “Yes, they have to do it! But someone has to stay calm.

“If we win more games, I’ll be happy. When we win I feel proud inside and celebrate from inside.”

It was the first time Newcastle had fought back from 2-0 down to win a Premier League game since Alan Shearer was still pulling his boots on, back in 2003 and a victory at Fulham.

That was before Benitez had managed in England, appointed Liverpool boss the following year, but this week he celebrates his third anniversary in the Magpies hot seat.

Saturday's match has to be up there with the most dramatic of his Tyneside tenure so far.

“It is very difficult to rank,” he said. “It was a great game, but we still have many to play.

“This was good, you have to enjoy it, but I was not thinking this is the game. It was important. we have to continue winning.

“Other games? We had Norwich here, Brighton away when we were in the Championship. Last season, some massive games, we had Manchester United, even Arsenal.

“But this one was important because this is our race now, to avoid relegation. It’s very important and the way that we did has been massive for the fans and for everyone.”

In 2016 he took over a team fighting relegation, one they would ultimately lose, and three years on the Magpies are again in the bottom half of the table though looking much more likely to avoid the drop this time.

A strong spirit among the squad both then and now, however, links the two periods.

“When we first came we had too many injuries and it wasn’t our team yet,” added Benitez.

“But you can see that against Tottenham we had ten players on the pitch and we beat them 5-1. We were growing.

“Two years ago in the Championship you could see the belief and togetherness in the team. Last season to finish tenth was exactly the same. The players care and work hard for the shirt and for the fans. Today has been another example. These players work really hard.

“Without that spirit we wouldn’t have won.”

The close to Saturday’s game brought comparisons with Manchester United’s thrilling success at PSG in the Champions League last week, when they overcame a 2-0 first-leg deficit.

Newcastle scored their three goals in the second half having been 2-0 down at the break, Everton following Cardiff, Man City, Huddersfield and Burnley in leaving Tyneside pointless.

Benitez added: “I saw the Man United game, it was good. Obviously it was a different competition but to see the reaction of our players in front of the fans. Before we were losing at home, now we’re winning, to win five at home we have to be delighted.

“We need two more wins, I had thought one would be enough.”