De Jong’s praises for ‘pushy’ Newcastle fans

IMPACT ... Luuk de Jong.
IMPACT ... Luuk de Jong.
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LUUK De Jong paid tribute to Newcastle United’s fans after they “pushed” the side on to victory over Aston Villa on Sunday.

The Magpies ended a dire run with a 1-0 win over the Villans at St James’s Park, with Loic Remy scoring the 92nd-minute winner.

It ended a run of five straight home losses for United, who had not scored at home in the league since Boxing Day before Remy’s late strike.

With Newcastle piling the pressure on their opponents in the last 10 minutes, the crowd came to life, and De Jong feels they played an important part in the victory.

He told the Gazette: “It was really important to win at home, especially for the fans.

“They pushed us on in the last five or 10 minutes and that helped us.

“We created some good chances and eventually at the end we scored the goal.”

De Jong played a key role in Newcastle’s late push for victory against Villa after being introduced as a 72nd-minute substitute.

Papiss Demba Cisse was preferred to the Dutchman up front from the start, with De Jong sacrificed to make way for the returning Remy, who had been suspended.

However, De Jong’s introduction helped bring Newcastle to life as an attacking force, and he proved a real handful for Villa’s defence.

The on-loan Borussia Monchengladbach striker did well to set up a golden chance for Remy minutes before his goal, but the Frenchman could only strike De Jong’s cut-back against the post.

The Dutchman was again heavily involved in the winner, with his shot deflecting into the path of Remy, who twisted and fired past Brad Guzan to give Tyneside some welcome relief.

Villa were also dangerous on the counter-attack in a frantic end to the game, which had until then been a quiet affair.

However, Newcastle’s defence stood firm, with Mike Williamson in particular doing excellently to cut out a late chance.

De Jong praised the Magpies backline afterwards, and also reflected on the mood in the dressing room after Newcastle’s return to winning ways.

He added: “Everyone is happy as we hadn’t won for a few games.

“We were afraid they may score on the counter near the end, but we also have to say that our defence and Tim Krul were really good.

“We were a little bit unlucky when Remy’s shot hit the post, which would have given me an assist.

“In the end, though, we won the game, and it was a good finish by Remy.”