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.
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“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.