Dwight Gayle has been looking both backwards and forwards.

Newcastle’s top scorer says that they had to overcome the curse of the relegated team and the fact that every other Championship side were desperate to beat the Magpies.

To set a club record of 14 away wins in such a season is testament to the character of the players and Gayle says it shows how ‘switched on’ the team have been.

As for moving forward, the Newcastle number nine says ‘you have to be excited’ because ‘we are a pretty young squad and we have got momentum behind us’.

When bringing in his 12 signings last summer, Rafa Benitez gave himself a little bit of insurance with the experience of Gamez and Murphy but the rest of the new players should all have the best of their years ahead of them, if they are good enough.

Dwight Gayle:

“We’ve improved so much, as you’ve seen throughout the season – from the moment Rafa Benitez took over, the players have stepped it up a level.

“Hopefully, he continues to do that. The fans love him and so it’s a perfect match.

“Promotion was the aim for all the lads at the end of last summer and with the manager staying and all of that, it’s easy to say ‘well, we had to be up there’ – but over the last six years, there’s only one other team that has come straight back up so that just shows how hard it is.

“It’s a massive testament to the work we have all put in that we’ve done it.

“I think you have to say a big congratulations to the staff, the players, and the fans, with the way we pulled through together.

“I think it’s a great achievement but you know you’re going to have to prove yourself again in the Premier League.

“You have to be excited about what the future might be, as we are a pretty young squad and we have got momentum behind us.

“There are a lot of young players and everyone is going to be improving – the fact that the Championship title race went down to the last day is just another feature that is going to help the boys grow up.

“If we can keep growing as a young team, you never really know how far we could reach.

“We have dealt with the pressure this season, now we have to do it again in the Premier League, but it will be a different kind of pressure being back in the Premier League – but the challenge will still be the same.

“Every team, home and away, were going to be up for it more than in any other game when they played against us and whenever Newcastle fans were going to an away ground, the (opposition) team was always up for it.

“We had to overcome that and it just shows how good a team we’ve had that we were able to do it – it shows how switched on we’ve been to be up against it and still come out with the Championship.

“We have to carry that attitude and togetherness into the Premier League.”

  • SH.ER

    Let’s see if he can do it in the Prem
    I really think Gayle can reach 15+ goals next season But,
    He know that if he underperformed Benitez will replace him with another 1st team starter ….

    • Leazes Ender

      He’ll struggle to get fifteen from the bench… its a good 50 yards.

  • Leazes Ender

    You can achieve tenth and no more Dwight….. tenth is the limit on ambition at this club under Ashley and Charnley!

    • mccabecol

      No way Rafa will settle for a limit on the ambition, as long as he remains then I’m happy to believe Ash & Charnley when they publicly say ‘what Rafa wants he gets’. You know Rafa would walk otherwise.
      Past mistakes will never be forgotten but some huge positives to take from this last year so let’s move on with some hope and optimism as opposed to being pessimistic.

      • Scottpaige

        Just ignore the idiot.

        • Leazes Ender


      • Leazes Ender

        That’s why I think Rafa will walk…. other clubs will be spending too and we will be positioned just outside of the elite group sqaud value wise…..deliberately….. that’s what Ashley has done year on year.

      • Geordiegiants

        I love what you are saying and I want to join your party, its just time after time he keeps coming back and effing us over. I really hope your right, and Im just being a cynic, but saying that I am going that little bit further in trusting, Im 100% behind Rafa and Im going to buy my kids Newcastle Strips etc etc, its just the last ten years wont go away to easily for a lot of us.

      • Viru leckworth

        Pessimism is leazes ender’s middle name

  • Andy Mac

    Gayle is one of those players who probably wont start in the first game of the season. Striker, No 10/AM, LW, CM, CB and LB are all up for grabs ? However the bench should be a lot better than this season ?

  • Sing in the Leazes

    His instincts are excellent. He is a natural. He’ll score against anyone.
    But his hamstrings….
    That’s the end of the story for me. He’ll have the same record as Owen. Good goals to games ratio. Terrible appearances record.

  • Geordiegiants

    “As a young team you never really know how far we could reach…” Its not far we could reach if we keep the same team, its how quickly we would drop.