Toon Army were fan-tastic says Newcastle United striker Luuk de Jong

CENTRE OFF ATTENTION: Newcastle United's Loic Remy (centre)
CENTRE OFF ATTENTION: Newcastle United's Loic Remy (centre)

LUUK De Jong paid tribute to Newcastle United’s fans after they “pushed” the side on to victory over Aston Villa on Sunday.

The Magpies ended a dire run with that 1-0 win at St James’s Park, with Loic Remy scoring a stoppage-time winner.

It ended a run of five straight home losses for United, who had not scored at home in the league since Boxing Day.

De Jong played a key role in Newcastle’s late push for victory against Villa after being introduced as a 72nd-minute substitute.

Papiss Demba Cisse was preferred to the Dutchman up front, with De Jong sacrificed to make way for the returning Remy.

However, De Jong’s introduction helped bring Newcastle to life as an attacking force, and he proved a real handful for Villa’s defence.

The on-loan Borussia Monchengladbach striker did well to set up a golden chance for Remy minutes before his goal, only for the Frenchman to hit the post.

The Dutchman was again heavily involved in the winner, with his shot deflecting into the path of Remy, who twisted and fired past Brad Guzan to give Tyneside some welcome relief.

With Newcastle piling the pressure on their opponents in the last 10 minutes, the crowd came to life and De Jong feels they played an important part in the victory.

“It was really important to win at home, especially for the fans,” he said.

“They pushed us on in the last five or 10 minutes and that helped us.

“We created some good chances and eventually at the end we scored the goal.”

Villa were also dangerous on the counter-attack though Newcastle’s defence stood firm, with Mike Williamson in particular doing excellently to cut out a late chance.

De Jong added: “Everyone is happy as we hadn’t won for a few games.

“We were afraid they may score on the counter near the end, but we also have to say that our defence and Tim Krul were really good.

“We were a little bit unlucky when Remy’s shot hit the post, which would have given me an assist.

“In the end, though, we won the game and it was a good finish by Remy.”

– DANIEL PRINCE