CHRIS Wood demonstrated nerves of steel to net his first Newcastle United goal at St James Park from the penalty spot to clinch victory over Wolves as Eddie Howe praised the resilience of his New Zealand striker.

Wood won the penalty and stepped up to convert towards the end of their 1-0 over Wolves in front of the Gallogate End to take a big step towards Premier League safety.

The 30-year-old has found goals hard to come by since his big money move from Burnley in the January transfer window. He thought he had his moment in front of the fans earlier in the game after a 20th minute strike was ruled out following a VAR check for offside.

But he got his moment in the end as Howe said after the game: “When you haven’t scored at home in front of your own supporters as a striker that can be a difficult weight. He was really challenged tonight because we thought the goal was a good goal as everyone did in the stadium and then it’s cut away from him.

“He must have thought at that moment ‘come on, when is it coming?’. He gets the penalty and he has to wait and there was a lot of pressure on his shoulders but I thought he struck the penalty really well. That was a big thing for him."

Despite a lack of goals, Howe reiterated that Wood will always be one of the leading candidates to take penalties for the club as he continued: “The thinking is he is a centre forward, he’s a goalscorer, he wants to score goals. I always trust my players if they want the penalty and he’s in that position and he gets it.

“Really pleased he did and he wants that responsibility. If you come to a club like this, you need to have broad shoulders and I think he has since he come in.

“I spoke highly of him in several different moments and I said every word honestly. How valued he is to me and the team but he needs to score. As a centre forward, you need to score so I am really pleased."

The victory lifts the Magpies up to 14th in the Premier League table and they are now ten points ahead of the bottom three.

Meanwhile, the head coach confirmed that winger Ryan Fraser was withdrawn in the first half with a hamstring injury.