New boy Joe Willock is backing Newcastle’s battling spirit to ease them away from Premier League trouble after ending his debut for the club with a remarkable victory.
The 21-year-old midfielder, who joined the Magpies on loan from Arsenal on deadline day, seemed destined to enjoy a very pleasant first afternoon in a black and white shirt when he opened the scoring against Southampton with just 16 minutes gone and saw his side go in at the break with a 3-1 lead.
Forty-five minutes later he had played his part in a gritty rearguard action, helping Steve Bruce’s men to grind out a priceless 3-2 win having had to play with 10 men from the 49th minute and for the last 15 with just nine.
Asked about the team spirit which saw Newcastle through, Willock told NUFC TV: ‘To be honest with you, I haven’t had that in a long time, being here with the boys, and it’s just going to bring us closer and the next game, we’re just going to fight for each other even more.
‘We want to keep on pushing on from this and another three points next week.
‘We were all fighting together – that’s the mentality of the team. From the first day I got here, I could see it was a very close-knit group and they wanted to fight for each other, and I’m happy it showed today.’