Karl Darlow has a simple message for relegation-threatened Newcastle United: Don’t stop believing!
The club is second-bottom and six points adrift of Premier League safety.
And the odds are on a return to the Championship after six years in the top flight.
But Darlow, preparing for tomorrow’s crucial game against Southampton at the St Mary’s Stadium, is still hopeful Newcastle, without a win since early February, can beat the drop.
Darlow made only his second league appearance for the club in last weekend’s 3-2 defeat to Norwich City, and the goalkeeper feels there were “positives” to take from the team’s second-half performance.
“We have to take some positives,” said Darlow.
“As long as it’s still possible, we have to keep believing.
“It’s shown in the Premier League this season, teams are beating teams that you didn’t think they’d beat.
“We’ve got to be optimistic and stay optimistic, and hopefully have a second-half performance like that again away to Southampton next weekend.”
Newcastle twice came from behind at Carrow Road, where substitute striker Aleksandar Mitrovic netted two second-half goals.
Norwich claimed all three points thanks to an injury-time strike from Martin Olsson.
Newcastle have struggled to start well this season, and Darlow, 25, has called for “90 minutes of character” at the St Mary’s Stadium, where the club last won in 2004.
“It’s no use playing like we did after the break – we need a first-half performance as well,” said Darlow.
“We need to show 90 minutes of character.
“It’s tough to take because we conceded that goal on the brink of half-time, and if we’d gone in at 0-0, it might have been a different story.
“But the facts are we lost 3-2. We have to deal with it and move on to the next seven games.”
* South Shields mags are running a suppporters’ coach to Newcastle’s game against Liverpool at Anfield on April 23. It will leave from Morgan’s (formerly the Lord Ashley), Stanhope Road, South Shields. To book a seat, call Kris 07730 508 362 or Peter 07598 434 108.