Paul Dummett talks about Newcastle United being 'written off' by pundits
Paul Dummett insists there was always a belief in the Newcastle United squad that Premier League safety could be secured, despite being “written off” by pundits.
Steve Bruce’s side retained their top-flight status with three games remaining, which would have been something of a pipe dream during the March international break.
United were just two points above the relegation zone when Brighton cruised to a 3-0 victory, leading to strong calls for Bruce to be sacked as head coach.
Pundits and bookmakers also viewed the Magpies as favourites to go down, however, an unbeaten April – including wins against Burnley and West Ham, plus draws with Tottenham and Liverpool – pulled the club towards safety as Fulham fell by the wayside.
Dummett, who is in line to make his 200th appearance for his boyhood club at home to Sheffield United tonight, told NUFCTV: “It’s been difficult – we’ve been through some tough spells.
"There were a lot of nervy spells where we were tipped for relegation, and written off many times.
"I think pundits said ‘players aren’t good enough, the team is not good enough’ but we knew deep down with the players we have in the squad that we were good enough to win games.
"The past few months we’ve been really good, the last few games especially.
"It has been a tough season for us but the last few months have been good. We want to try and finish the season on a high and win the next two.
Dummett believes the Brighton defeat was the turning point in the club’s season.
He added: "Having players back from injury, Covid and inconsistency with the team.
"But now we’ve got a fully fit squad fighting for places – I think it brings the best out in the team.
"The defeat against Brighton was probably the turning point where we were definitely written off after that game.
"It was a big defining game in the season and we were looked at as though we were definitely going to get relegated from everyone outside the club.
"We knew we had to stay strong, stick together as a team and fight. We’ve managed to pick up and looked really good over the last few weeks.”