Newcastle United finally grabbed their first win of the 2018-19 English Premier League campaign at Watford’s expense on Saturday.
The narrow 1-0 victory temporarily lifted the Magpies out of the drop zone, and it, without no doubt, came as a huge relief.
Ayoze Perez came off the bench to grab the winner in the 65th, and while the Spaniard deserves all the plaudits for making the difference, his goal wouldn’t have been possible without Ki Sung-Yueng’s perfect free-kick.
The South Korean replaced the injured Jonjo Shelvey during the second-half, and he is hoping his performance convinced manager Rafa Benitez having started just two league games since arriving from Swansea in the summer.
“The manager must like me now. It was his decision not to play me much and maybe there were things that he didn’t like about my game,” the 29-year-old told The Sun.
“I’m not saying he didn’t like me but clearly he wasn’t satisfied with what I was showing. But I was never worried I made the wrong move. I always had faith in my own qualities.
“Now the manager can see how I can help the team and I have to maintain it.”
Ki last started a game for Newcastle in September and has appeared just four times since arriving St. Jame’ Park.
Having played a huge role in the Magpies’ first league win and with Shelvey currently unavailable, the Korean midfielder is very likely to retain his spot against Bournemouth.
Ki will have to prove the Watford performance wasn’t just a flash in the pan if he is to convince Benitez he deserves a starting berth and a more prominent role in the starting lineup going forward, and next weekend could be his only chance to do so.