Dwight Gayle left dreaming of matching Bishop’s Stortford days
Dwight Gayle has only started 24 of Newcastle United’s 39 Championship matches this season.
A combination of hamstring problems and Rafa Benitez always looking longer term when managing his comebacks, has meant some frustrating times on the sidelines for United’s top scorer.
Despite that, Dwight Gayle has scored an impressive 22 goals at a rate of one every 92 minutes on the pitch.
At one time earlier in the season, thoughts were very much on exactly what Championship records the former Palace striker might break – but missing 15 starts out of 39 has ensured those have had to be reined back
However, Gayle has already beaten his record for goals in a league season, his 22 beating the 20 he scored in 2012/13 – seven for Dagenham and Redbridge in League Two, then 13 for Peterborough in the Championship after making the switch mid-season.
The total of 29 non-league goals he scored in his last season at lowly Bishop’s Stortford in 2011/12, after being released by Arsenal, may also now prove hard to match.
However, after scoring his 22nd of the season and looking back to near his best cutting edge sharpness against Wigan, Dwight Gayle admits that he still has Chris Wood and the title of Championship top scorer in his sights.
The Leeds forward has two goals more than Gayle but he’s scored them at a rate of once every 125 minutes.
Saturday’s goal was only his second in three months since the injury at Brentford and Newcastle’s number nine is now looking to make up for lost time by competing the job of firing the Magpies into the Premier League and proving himself to be the best goalscorer in the second tier.
Dwight Gayle asked if being Championship top scorer was on his mind:
“Yes, no point in downplaying it.
“I’ve been injured and in and out of the team for the last few months now, so for me it was nice to get back playing and scoring a goal.
“I go into every game wanting to score, so hopefully I can get a few more and the race (to be top Championship scorer) is interesting.
“I set myself (a target of) 20 at the start of the season – I’ve reached that and now I have to try to score as many as I can to help the team.
“Huddersfield are a great team and they could easily go on a run where they don’t lose so we need to concentrate and pick up enough points to get promoted.
“It (Wigan) was a big win but it perhaps wasn’t the best performance and we know we can do a lot better playing wise.
“However, after these last few results we needed to get back on track and three points was the most important thing.”
“We know that playing Burton away was one of the toughest games we played this season.
“Their two strikers were powerful and they caused us trouble, as well as being very resilient in defence.
“When we won 2-1 there it was a brilliant result and we know they will come here with everything to play for and give us a tough game.”
If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]