Jose Enrique

By Dan King

Jose Enrique thanked the Newcastle supporters for staying with the team after Saturday's 3-1 win over Liverpool.

Amid threats of boycotts and protests following Chris Hughton's sacking, the reality was a 50,137 crowd - the second biggest of the season at St. James' - and a vibrant atmosphere of support for the players.

And Enrique acknowledged that the win could not have been achieved without the help of the Toon Army when he spoke exclusively to www.nufc.co.uk.

"I'm not surprised about the way they were behind us, because the fans are unbelievable," said the left-back. "We were playing against Liverpool, and they are known for having great fans too, but our supporters were amazing - and this win is for them."

Valencia-born Enrique got the better of his Spanish compatriots Fernando Torres and Pepe Reina, and admitted it was a vital result in Alan Pardew's first game in charge.

He said: "It's a good win because not only is it three points but because the fans were a little bit angry because of what had happened at the club.

"But we have to think about the future now with the new manager that we have. We think he's a good manager for us. We felt sad for Chris Hughton, because he was a really good guy and he was in our thoughts today.

"But we must look forwards now. It was a good reaction from the players. Last week, we had a bad week at West Brom but now we've got three points, and I think it's really important that we got these three points."