Callum Wilson said Newcastle needed to pull their fingers out after they secured a shock 2-0 win over Everton on Saturday lunchtime, putting an end to the club’s recent wretched run of form.
The Magpies went into the game at Goodison Park having failed to win since their victory over West Brom on December 12, a string of results that had piled the pressure on boss Steve Bruce.
The visitors made a strong start the game despite their recent woes, with England number one Jordan Pickford making a fine save to deny Wilson from close range midway through the first half as the hosts struggled to really get a foothold in the match.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side were made to pay for their limp performance late on as Wilson grabbed the goal his performance deserved, the former Bournemouth striker with an excellent header that evaded the reach of Pickford in the Everton goal. The forward then hit the post with just minutes remaining from a tight angle, before adding a second in stoppage time to confirm the result, the 28-year-old rounding off a sweeping counter-attack with a calm finish into the bottom corner.
The win moved Newcastle nine points clear of the bottom three and will perhaps relieve some of the pressure on Bruce, with goalscorer Wilson admitting that him and his teammates needed to put a performance together after some below-par displays of late.
“I think it’s been a long time coming,” he told BT Sport. “We needed to pull our fingers out, to be honest. We’ve shown glimpses, but today everything came together.
“We’ve not been picking up points. We’ve had four or five straight defeats, which is not nice as a footballer, but today we played well as a team and got the result.
“I got a brace today, but I’m disappointed I didn’t get a hat-trick. I missed a couple of chances. I should have had three for sure.
“The result is vital just to give the boys a bit of a lift and confidence. You could see today we were on the front foot and scored good goals. It was about putting a performance together and getting a result at the end.
“We have to take the game to teams. We can’t be sitting back all the time, especially with the players we’ve got. The players are the ones who go out and perform at the end of the day. It was nice today to go out and get a performance for the manager and the fans.”
Next up for Newcastle is a home game against Crystal Palace.