Newcastle now have better team spirit for relegation fight, says star

Georginio Wijnaldum was on target on Saturday against Lillestrom
Georginio Wijnaldum was on target on Saturday against Lillestrom
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Georginio Wijnaldum believes Newcastle United’s team spirit will be ‘better than before’ after their mid-season training camp.

The Magpies spent a week at La Manga Club, in Spain, as they looked to recharge their batteries ahead of a tough run-in to the end of the season.

Steve McClaren had been criticised in some quarters for taking the players away in the wake of a 5-1 hammering at Chelsea which saw United slip into the Premier league’s relegation zone.

But Wijnaldum insists it has been good for the players to bond, spend time together and pull together ahead of their battle to beat the drop.

The Dutchman said: “You never know, and it is difficult to say before you play the games, but I think this trip will help us to get closer to each other – help us to get things right .

“I think it is going to be better than before.

“It went well for me personally and for the team a few days together.

“We can speak and chat about different situations this season and situations that might come. We spend time together and are closer together, talk about things and focus.”

Wijnaldum was on target for Newcastle in their 2-1 friendly win over Norwegian side Lillestrom on Saturday.

The midfielder netted in just the third minute, although the goal was cancelled out by Bassel Jradi soon after.

Newcastle had to dig deep to get the winner in the second half through Rolando Aarons, and Wijnaldum hopes it will provide a confidence boost to the beleagured Magpies.

Asked about the way the team kept going, he said: “Yes, that is what you always have to do, even when you are behind you always must keep faith that you can win a game and always aspire to win.”

“It is (important) to get confidence and also faith that we can still win a game – it’s always good if you win games when you play.”

Wijnaldum, Newcastle’s leading scorer, has struggled in front of goal of late, so was pleased to get back among the goals.

“It is always nice to score and I want to score always,” he added.

“I always look for chances to make a goal and that is what happened.

“It was a good ball from Ayoze (Perez) and I only had to run past the keeper and score.”