Dwight Gayle returns to Crystal Palace for the first time since leaving for Newcastle in summer 2016.
Swapping occasional Premier League appearances for regular Championship football.
With Mike Ashley failing to back Rafa Benitez in the Summer 2017 transfer window, the weight of expectation rested largely on Dwight Gayle when it came to the goals needed to avoid instant relegation.
He had a very good goals per starts ratio at Palace despite never becoming first choice but it hasn’t happened for the striker this season.
Despite only three Premier League goals for Dwight Gayle this season (11 starts 11 off the bench), former team-mate James McArthur has declared: ‘He is deadly in front of goal so we don’t him to come back and haunt us.’
The Palace midfielder adding ‘Newcastle have a lot of quality throughout the side.’
Most Newcastle fans would probably say that the real quality at the club is with Rafa Benitez and the fact he has made NUFC competitive with arguably one of the very weakest squads in the league.
The Premier League table shows clubs from 11th to 19th separated by only three points with two-thirds of the season gone, with Islam Slimani recovering from a thigh injury and a place on the bench at best today, how Newcastle could do with seeing the return of the ‘Deadly’ Dwight Gayle they saw score 23 goals in only 26 starts (6 from bench) in the Championship last season.
“It’s been a big turnaround (under Roy Hodgson) but we knew we could do that because we have done it in previous years and know we have the players to do it but it’s about getting the best out of the team and making us more solid.
“The manager has made us more solid and normally when you do that you lose that attacking flair but we haven’t.
“We have such good players going forward that we look solid but with a good threat and that makes for a very good balance.
“A lot of people would have found it hard to believe, it’s amazing where we are right now, but the hard work starts here now as we need to keep going and pushing up that table to get away from that bottom three.
“Newcastle have a lot of quality throughout the side and obviously we know about Dwight Gayle and we need to make sure, if he is playing, we keep him quiet.
“He is deadly in front of goal so we don’t him to come back and haunt us.
“The league is so competitive and the teams that have come up have been very good and even though they may have struggled of late if you said to their managers ‘this is where you will be’, I think a lot of them would have taken it at this stage.
“Newcastle are good side but every team in the league has good players and we need to be on our game to get three points and need to keep playing with confidence and obviously stop their main players.”
“We have a really tough run coming up but every single game in this league is tough and like ourselves other teams around us are capable of going and beating the top teams so you have to treat each one with the same respect.
“If you look at the table it is so tight so it’s about us now making sure that we keep doing the right things.”
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