Wijnaldum interviewed after La Manga “I think it is going to be better than before”
It took Gini Wijnaldum only three minutes to score against Lillestrom on Saturday, though the Norwegians equalised within five minutes and then were the better team for the rest of the first half.
Second half saw Newcastle on top, undoubtedly helped by the fact that they are in the middle of their season, whereas the league in Norway kicks off in March, with Lillestrom still in pre-season preparations.
Wijnaldum though says that even when it is a friendly, he still wants to win and score goals.
The former PSV midfielder thinks that yesterday’s victory could give the players confidence (ED: You have to wonder what the 6-0 friendly defeat to Sunderland did to morale then!) ahead of the final dozen Premier League matches.
Wijnaldum believes the trip to La Manga has improved the team physically and mentally ahead of their next competitive game.
However, the Dutch international says that it is only once you get to the proper games when you find out for sure, though he claims the training camp has definitely brought players closer together.
If Newcastle play well and get an absolute minimum of a point at Stoke, people will forget all about this training camp, but if it is the usual away misery then the La Manga trip will be yet another thing to have a go at Steve McClaren and his players about.
Gini Wijnaldum speaking to NUFC TV:
‘Perfect way to end a training camp?’
“Always, if you win after a few days training camp, always good I think.”
‘Perfect start to (Lillestrom) game?’
“It (his third minute goal) was really quick, always good if you score quick but five minutes later we received a goal – that is not good.”
‘The team kept going and got the win in the end?’
“Yes, that is what you always have to do, even when you are behind you always must keep faith that you can win a game and always aspire to win.”
‘I know it is just a friendly but is it important to win these games, to get confidence?’
“Yes, it is as you say, to get confidence and also faith that we can still win a game – always good if you win games when you play.”
‘You have scored plenty of goals this season but nice to get another one?’
“Yeah, it is always nice to score and I want to score always. I always look for chances to make a goal and that is what happened today.
“A good ball from Ayoze (Perez) and I only had to run past the keeper and score.”
‘What have you made of the training camp overall?’
“It went well for me personally and for the team a few days together.
“We can speak and chat about different situations this season and situations that might come. We spend time together and are closer together, talk about things and focus.”
‘Do you think the team is in better shape mentally and physically now (after training camp), for the last 12 games?’
“We must show that, you never know and it is difficult to say before you play the games but I think this trip will help us to get closer to each other – help us to get things right .
“I think it is going to be better than before.”
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