Newcastle star Rolando Aarons thinks that Saturday’s victory over Lillestrom was ‘one of those games we just had to win’.

The United winger (sometimes full-back..) heading the winning goal only nine minutes after coming onto the pitch in place of Andros Townsend.

The likes of Steve McClaren and Gini Wijnaldum have given a similar view to Rolando Aarons – the usual great for confidence etc etc winning a friendly, whereas like every other club the Lillestrom game would have just been a good workout and the score meaningless if United hadn’t won.

Like Wijnaldum, Aarons claims that the training camp and match has put the team in a better place ahead of next Wednesday’s match at Stoke.

Let’s hope so because we undoubtedly need some dramatic changes if Newcastle are going to reverse the shocking form on the road – 11 defeats in 14 away matches this season.

The biggest news potentially of the La Manga trip only emerged on Sunday night, with the revelation that Fabricio Coloccini had somehow managed to pick up a calf injury despite not playing on Saturday.

The United Captain reported to have been injured when having a ‘warm down’ after the win over Lillestrom – all eyes now focussing on Steven Taylor and Jamaal Lascelles who played together on Saturday and now look set to face Stoke.

With Coloccini possibly out until April (no scheduled matches next month after the derby on 20 March), it also raises the question of who will be Captain in his absence.

Rolando Aarons talking to the official club website:

“We were playing against opposition we’re not used to, on a very dry surface, but it was a very good workout to end a good few days of training.

“It was one of those games we just had to win – we had to do a job and there were lots of positives to take.

“I got a goal (watch it HERE) – my first this season, although it doesn’t really count – I’m not known for my headers.

“It was a good ball in from (Jamie) Sterry, I flicked it on and it went in the top corner. I love scoring goals so I am happy I got one.

“But we also defended well, created chances at the other end, and gave players minutes – it is going to help us for when we go to Stoke.

“I hvae been playing in a different position recently but it was nice to get forward today and contribute at the other end.”

NUFC (4-2-3-1):

Darlow (Woodman 46),  Janmaat (Sterry 66), Taylor, Lascelles, Gibson (Barlaser 82), Saivet, Shelvey (Gouffran 66), Townsend (Aarons 66) Wijnaldum (Riviere 66), Perez, Doumbia

Unused on the bench:

Williams, Coloccini, Sissoko