Why Dwight Gayle is even more convinced swapping Palace for Newcastle was the right move
Gayle scored his first home goal for the club at St James’s Park in Saturday’s 3-2 win over Vitesse Arnhem.
And the 25-year-old, signed from Crystal Palace for £10million this summer, hopes there’ll be many more over the coming campaign as Newcastle attempt to win promotion back to the Premier League at the first attempt.
“Most strikers want to get in the 20 goal bracket,” said Gayle. “Hopefully, I can do that this season. We will see where we go from there.”
Gayle felt dropping down to the Championship was the right move for him.
And having played his first home game for the club, the Londoner is even more convinced that he will be at home on Tyneside.
“Coming to St James’s Park for my first game just showed again to me just how big this club is,” said Gayle. “It’s perfect for me to be playing my football here next season.
“There are several things that made me swap the Premier League for the Championship next season. I’m certain this club will only be on the up from now on, and that is only going to be a positive.
“We have a great manager with great experience.
“I was surprised when I came in just how positive everyone is around the place. It didn’t feel like a team going in to the Championship from the Premier League.
“There was a great atmosphere and we are all just excited for the new season. We are raring to go.
“It was a strange one, to be fair, because everyone has been at it in training, raring to go and everyone wants to get in the team for the season ahead. He’s a great manager, a great tactical manager and I will learn a lot from him this season.”
Gayle knows the Championship can be an unforgiving division.
And he said: “It’s a tough season made harder by playing two games in a week.
“There are some great teams in this division. I’m sure there will be some great teams fighting for promotion, and it will not just be a one-horse race, I’m sure.”
With striker Aleksandar Mitrovic suspended, Gayle is set to start Friday’s season-opener against Fulham at Craven Cottage.
“Obviously, we have great players other than Mitro, and everyone’s fighting for their position,” said Gayle, whose pace created problems for Vitesse in United’s final pre-season friendly.
“Whoever the manager picks, I’m sure will be good enough to do the job.”