Dwight Gayle has been reflecting on the win over Manchester United and says ‘it would have been a tough fortnight’ if Newcastle hadn’t won.
Even a draw against second top Man Utd would have kept Newcastle in the relegation zone.
With tough away matches at Bournemouth and Liverpool coming up next, Dwight Gayle says it would have only added to what has been ‘a tough few months for everybody really’.
Sunday saw NUFC press the visitors high from the start and the striker says that helped the crowd going and as everybody has acknowledged, the net result was easily the best atmosphere of the season so far.
On a personal level, Dwight Gayle didn’t get a goal, but he got a superb assist for Matt Ritchie’s goal, made a double clearance off the line near the end, and of course should have had that penalty.
Gayle has been one of the biggest disappointments for fans this season, along with Shelvey and Ritchie, the three of them having being by far the main source of creativity and goals to get out of the Championship.
All three had arguably their best games of the season on Sunday and Dwight Gayle was very happy to be getting applause from the fans when subbed, rather than the near silence that has greeted him in many previous matches this season.
Those three players have maybe suffered the most from Mike Ashley failing to back Rafa Benitez with the better quality players that had to be brought in last summer.
However, an on-loan Kenedy and a reinvented Mohamed Diame have taken on those roles in recent weeks.
If Islam Slimani can do similar then hopefully Newcastle can carry on from the Man Utd performance in these final 11 matches and look a far different, and more threatening, team than they have done for much of the season so far. Only 25 goals in 27 Premier League games tells you what has clearly been the biggest weakness.
Dwight Gayle talking to The Chronicle:
“It would have been a tough fortnight if we hadn’t have won – it has lifted the place.
“Going into the next two weeks we’d have been in the relegation zone and we’d be a bit upset…but now we have those three points we come out of it.
“At the same time, we know we have a massive 11 games left and we know we need to pick up more points because it is so tight down there.
“It’s been a tough few months for everybody really.
“The fans were happy with me when I came off and I was pleased with the ovation, the fans actually set us off – in the first few minutes we made a few blocks and pressed them into making mistakes.
“The fans got right behind us and pushed us really hard, they were with through the whole game and we needed them.
“Over the last two weeks we probably haven’t got the rub of the green and I feel we got that against Man Utd and you do need that against the big teams.
“Obviously to do it at home in front of the fans was nice, so we gave something back to them.”
“The fans want you to work hard and give everything and in certain situations we are going to need that, so for us to do that against a team like Man Utd is fantastic.
“They have some great names and great players but you can’t show them too much respect that they probably deserve.
“That’s what we did, we came out and took the game to them.
“We didn’t drop too deep until the last 15 minutes and we didn’t let them put too much pressure on us.
“When it started to get towards the end you start to get nervous, and try to play it out, but we dealt with it. We’ll know we need that to get through.
“We know that if we turn up and give our best, and things go our way, we can do it against the best.
“We have 11 cup finals now and we will need to the same in each game.
“We put everything on the line for the team and the fans, it was a massive three points for us.
“I wouldn’t say it was the perfect performance but everything went our way. Obviously they did have a few good chances but luckily they didn’t go in.
“The fans were fantastic and it was just a good day all round.”