Newcastle striker thanks team-mates for making so many chances

Dwight Gayle
Dwight Gayle

Dwight Gayle says his Newcastle United team-mates are making it easy for him.

Gayle’s two goals against Barnsley on Tuesday night sent the club to the top of the Championship.

It’s fantastic to be playing in front of them.

And the strikes took his goal tally for the season to 11 ahead of Saturday’s home game against Ipswich Town.

Matt Ritchie, recalled to the starting XI at Oakwell, had a hand in both his strikes.

The first came from a Ritchie corner, and the winger picked him out with a ball from the halfway line for his second goal.

Midfielder Jonjo Shelvey had created his two goals against Brentford at St James’s Park three days earlier.

Asked if Ritchie and Shelvey were making his job easier, Gayle said: “Not just Jonjo and Matt, but we have 20 or so other players who can play those sort of balls.

“It’s fantastic to be playing in front of them. When I’m making my runs, I just sort of know that those balls are going to be coming as well and it’s fantastic to be playing up top in front of those.

“I said at the weekend it’s just fantastic to play in front of some of the quality we’ve got, and everybody just seems to be chipping in with their little assists at the moment. Hopefully, it continues.”

Gayle, the club’s No 9, has scored seven goals in his last four appearances for United, the club he joined in the summer from Crystal Palace.

“I always have confidence in myself in front of goal, but I just need to be sure that I’m helping the team in other ways as well and getting us up the pitch better,” said the 25-year-old.

“I perhaps didn’t have the best first half, but I’m just trying to help the team as much as I can, and at the moment it’s getting results.”

Gayle has led the line on his own for much of the season.

“It can be difficult, but, with the way we play, it allows me to wait for the ball and I get to do a lot more on the floor,” he said.

“The lads are sliding it into me more rather than just playing it in the air.

“It might have been a little different against Barnsley, but the rest of the season has been fantastic for me to play in front of these players.”

Ipswich have conceded fewer goals than Newcastle this season, and Gayle is expecting a difficult afternoon.

“We’re going to have to look at all the clips and work out where it is we can break them down,” he said.