By Damian Spellman, PA
Newcastle striker Callum Wilson has urged fans still awaiting a first Premier League win of the season to stick with their team as they attempt to halt their slide.
Wilson returned from a four-game injury lay-off to open the scoring with his third goal of the campaign against Tottenham on Sunday, but ended up on the losing side as the visitors emerged with a 3-2 win on the Magpies’ big day.
St James’ Park was packed as supporters still celebrating Mike Ashley’s departure and the arrival of new Saudi-backed owners turned up in their droves to witness a new dawn, but left having seen Steve Bruce’s side extend their winless run to eight league games.
Asked what his message to the fans was, 29-year-old Wilson told NUFC TV: “To stick with us.
“We’re building, we’re in a new era. We’re trying to get a result for the fans — ultimately the result is going to come.
“If we keep working hard for the team, for the club, then the results are going to follow. There were teams last season that didn’t have a win for almost as many games and ended up finishing fifth and sixth in the league, so it just shows it can be done.
“It’s very early days in the season, but ultimately you do need to get that first win, and we’re going to be working hard on the training field day in, day out to make sure that happens.”
Victory over Tottenham might have provided the perfect springboard for the consortium which bought out Ashley; instead, they find themselves in the teeth of a lengthy battle for top-flight survival which will require big decisions to be made sooner rather than later.
Principal among them is the position of head coach Steve Bruce, who survived the new regime’s first week to take charge of his 1,000th game as a manager, but having been urged once again to go by disgruntled fans as Sunday’s game unravelled, has a fight on his hands to prolong his stay.
He could only look on as Wilson’s second-minute header was cancelled out by Tanguy Ndombele’s strike before goals from Harry Kane and Son Heung-min — either side of a 20-minute suspension for a medical emergency in the crowd — cemented the win despite Eric Dier diverting the ball into his own net late on.
Wilson said: “Performances up until today — obviously I’ve not been involved, I’ve been watching from afar, and the lads have been playing well. We’ve been playing well in games, we’ve just not been getting the result to go with it.
“Now it’s about getting the both together and trying to be consistent in our performances to make sure that ultimately, at the end of it will come a result.”
The Magpies will head for Crystal Palace on Saturday sitting just one place and a single point off the foot of the table.
Whether Bruce will still be at the helm, only time will tell.