The Ghana international, who was brought to England by Chelsea in 2013, broke his duck in his side’s 2-1 triumph over Stoke City on Saturday.
The result made it three wins in a row for the Magpies, effectively putting behind a faltering start which saw them lose their first two matches.
“I am very happy the team won and also happy to get my first Premier League goal,” Atsu told his club's official website.
“Three wins in a row is very good for the team.
“Rafa is always telling me to use my speed to run in behind the defence if I want to assist or score more goals and it has shown a lot.
“I think with Rafa, I have improved a lot, I have seen it for myself and a lot of people are also seeing it.
“So he is very important to me and I also listen to him very attentively because he is a very good coach.
“I try to work hard every day in training, try to prove to him I want to be in the starting eleven because others are also waiting for the opportunity."
Atsu joined Newcastle on loan from Chelsea last season and a fine campaign saw the move made permanent in May.
At Chelsea, he failed to make a competitive appearance, promoting loan spells at the Toon Army as well as Everton and Bournemouth.