Defender Paul Dummett has insisted that Newcastle United have performed above expectations in securing Premier League survival this season.
The Magpies’ Premier League status was confirmed after Cardiff lost 2-0 to Liverpool on Easter Sunday, having seen Ayoze Perez net a hat trick to seal victory against Southampton on Saturday evening..
Speaking to the Chronicle, Dummett admits that he is revelling in silencing the club’s doubters and believes that the season could of been very different for Newcastle if one key moment had not happened in only the second game of the season: “At the start of the season we had a lot of doubters – people saying we’d get relegated and stuff – so, to do it with a few games to spare, and following a really good win on Saturday, means everyone’s pleased.
“It could have been so different at the same time, because the second game of the season [at Cardiff] we missed a last minute penalty, and it could have been totally different in how the season started. But it was a tough task after the first 10 games, where we hadn’t won a game.”
At the beginning of the summer, a mid-table finish was definitely the first objective for Newcastle United. With this comes the obvious incentive to avoid relegation. After a disappointing summer transfer window where not much money was spent, the expectation would have certainly been lowered. Combine this with a tough start and there was not much hope in Newcastle for anything more than mid-table mediocrity. Dummett stating that Kenedy’s penalty miss at Cardiff affected their season is nothing more than clutching at straws but that doesn’t mean much now that survival has been confirmed. The main turning point of the season was definitely the arrival of Miguel Almiron. The ex-MLS star has been hugely influential in Newcastle’s rise since the new year and any hopes for more than a bottom half finish next year surely rest on that man’s shoulders.