Newcastle’s Gini Wijnaldum’s looking for a timely end to his goal drought

Newcastle United's Georginio Wijnaldum.
Newcastle United's Georginio Wijnaldum.
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Georginio Wijnaldum’s looking for a timely end to his two-and-a-half month goal drought.

Wijnaldum is preparing for Newcastle United’s must-win game against Aston Villa on Saturday.

Let’s hope I can get another goal. You need a bit of luck at times. I will keep searching for the chances to get a goal.

Georginio Wijnaldum

The midfielder has been stuck on nine goals, all of which have come at St James’s Park, since mid-January.

Wijnaldum, recalled to the starting XI at the weekend, was denied a long-overdue strike against Crystal Palace by Wayne Hennessey, who stopped his first-half effort.

A stunning free-kick from Andros Townsend after the break gave Newcastle a 1-0 win – and lifted the club out of the relegation zone.

And Wijnaldum hopes to keep his place at Villa Park, where a win could put the club’s fate back in their own hands.

“Let’s hope I can get another goal,” said Wijnaldum, who was dropped last month by manager Rafa Benitez.

“I was unlucky. It was good action. The defender of Palace was standing in the way of the shot.

“You need a bit of luck at times. I will keep searching for the chances to get a goal.”

Wijnaldum joined United last summer after captaining PSV Eindhoven to the Dutch league title.

The 25-year-old, however, has “enjoyed” his first season at Newcastle, despite the club’s struggles on the field.

“It is possible to enjoy it,” said the Holland international. “I have enjoyed being here every game.

“Before I signed here, I knew it can be difficult because they had a few difficult seasons. I was thinking good things before I made a decision.

“When you hear an atmosphere like we got, then that’s what I always hoped we could get it like. The atmosphere helped us.

“Atmospheres can go two ways. It can go against you, because supporters can say ‘I’m not going to support you as you are in the relegation zone’. But the whole season we have counted on the supporters, so that’s a good thing for us.”

The Palace win owed as much to Karl Darlow’s penalty save from Yohan Cabaye as Townsend’s free-kick.

“Before the free-kick we didn’t have too many chances,” said Wijnaldum.

“I had one chance, but before that very little. We were lucky that Karl Darlow saved the penalty, and that we got the goal we did.”