Joselu reveals his reaction to criticism '“ and makes a goal pledge at Newcastle

Joselu has started as he means to go on at Newcastle United this season.

The striker scored in last weekend’s season-opening 2-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur.

Joselu headed a Matt Ritchie cross past World Cup-winning goalkeeper Hugo Lloris at St James’s Park to cancel out Jan Vertonghen’s opener. Dele Alli claimed all three points for the visitors.

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Joselu, signed a year ago from Stoke City for £5million, netted four goals last term.

Benitez handed Joselu 19 Premier League starts in the 2017-18 campaign, and he will compete with Salomon Rondon and Yoshimori Muto for a place up front this season.

United’s manager must choose between the trio for tomorrow’s game away to Cardiff City.

Asked about the trust Benitez placed in him, Joselu said: “I think it’s important.

Joselu and Rafa Benitez.Joselu and Rafa Benitez.
Joselu and Rafa Benitez.
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“The manager trusts me. I think, for the players, that’s the most important thing in football. I try to do my best every game.

“All of us want to play and want to have good games and score goals and do everything to stay up.”

Joselu had highs and lows in his first season at St James’s Park.

The 28-year-old scored on his league debut against West Ham United, but found goals hard to come by over the winter months, and Dwight Gayle – who joined West Bromwich Albion on loan earlier this month – led the line in the latter part of the campaign.

Joselu celebrates his goal against Tottenham.Joselu celebrates his goal against Tottenham.
Joselu celebrates his goal against Tottenham.
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Joselu, however, insists that he never dwells on missed chances or criticism.

“I don’t think about it,” he said. “I think to train well every week and try to think about the game at the weekend.

“The league is not won in every game. We know how difficult it is. Man City don’t win all the games. Man United lose games as well.

“We know part of the season we played well and won games. We had another part of the league where we lost games. That’s normal in the Premier League, in Spain and the Bundesliga.

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“If I play seven games in a row and don’t score and we lose every game and I’m only thinking about these games, it’s not good for me and it’s not good for the team.

“We know sometimes we have a good moment and sad moments.

“It’s difficult to play as a striker, but I think positive, always.”

Joselu wants to bring more goals to Newcastle.

“All strikers have chances and I want to score all the chances,” said Joselu. “I don’t miss because I don’t like to score. I want to score goals, but I know also we had difficult situations last season.

“The most important thing is that we had these bad situations and after that we had good situations. That’s the good thing for us, not only for me.

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“Trust me, I want to score every game and win three points every game. I want the best for this club.”

Asked about the pressures that come with leading the line for United, Joselu said: “When you play as a striker, the pressure is different at all the clubs.

“All the people focus on you, because you have to score every game. It’s difficult, because this league is so hard. But we have a very good team and very good team-mates.

“I think last season we had a good season and all the strikers in this team scored goals.”

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Joselu played his part as Newcastle finished 10th last season.

Benitez had hoped to push on up the table this season, but owner Mike Ashley’s refusal to back his manager in this summer’s transfer market has left the team again targeting survival.

Asked if the aim was to finish higher, Joselu said: “Maybe, or maybe 11th or 12th. We know how difficult it is.

“We want to stay at the same level like the last 10 games of the season. We know how we can improve this season.

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“We know it will be difficult, because other teams signed some very good players, but we know how we play and we know each other.”

Joselu feels he will be able to contribute more this season, having had a pre-season with his United team-mates.

“It’s different (this season),” he said. “I think it’s good for me, because pre-season is the most important part of the season for the players. I think this year is good for me.

“Last year I did all the pre-season with Stoke.”

Joselu is now settled at Newcastle, on and off the pitch.

“It’s a very nice city, very nice stadium, very nice supporters and very nice team-mates,” he said. “Everything is good for playing games and winning games. That’s the important thing.”