Salomon Rondon has described NUFC fans as the ‘best’ supporters he has played in front of in his career – with the West Brom loanee vowing to score goals and help the team now he is nearing a return to full fitness.
Saturday’s win over Watford saw him make his first start in over a month. He didn’t get on the scoresheet and showed signs of rust, but the Venezeulan put in a huge shift, with him fighting for every ball, winning plenty flick ons and bullying their centre halves more often than not.
Here’s what he’s had to say about the St James’ Park crowd, praising the fan’s support on Saturday and the ‘amazing’ atmosphere around the stadium:
“It was great to hear that.
“The crowd uplifted me. When you are playing it is an unbelievable feeling to hear the Geordies singing for you.
“The atmosphere is amazing. It helped us keep fighting and get three points.
“The atmosphere is the best I have experienced in my career.
“When I came here with West Brom I could not believe it, to hear them singing the whole game and supporting the team, I just thought: ‘Wow that’s fantastic that’.”
It’s great to hear, although if he thought Saturday was amazing, he’s in for a treat if can REALLY get going at home this season.
Given he’s spent three years at The Hawthorns, a few Baggies fans won’t be too pleased to hear that he’s already favouring the Geordie faithful. That being said, I don’t think many West Brom fans would mind if he and Dwight Gayle swapped sides for good next summer.
The big striker than talked about his injury frustrations which have held him back over the last few weeks, with him aiming to get on the goal trail and prove himself to NUFC fans now he’s back fit:
“It’s been frustrating.
“Of course I want to bring goals to these fans – that’s why I am here.
“That is my aim for the future – it is my job.
“The first thing is to help my team win games and the most important at home you have to win. After that, my target is to get goals. I know what my job is.”
Finally, he then reflected on his first 90 minutes of the season against Watford on Saturday – with him ending up staying on longer than expected after Rafa was forced into three subsitutions:
“It is always difficult to come back from injury and play a full 90 minutes like that. But yeah everything is OK.
“Physically everything is tough when you come back from an injury but I have to keep working.
“I came back last week at Southampton and that is important for me. I just try to help the team.
“I will keep putting in the effort and as a team, we will keep fighting – it’s the only way to stay up.
“Now we need to keep on winning games, and the most important is adding to the six points we now have.”
Let’s hope he can stay fit and find the net against Bournemouth on Saturday.
He certainly looks like someone who can work hard, be a handful and hold up the ball, but scoring goals will be his biggest test.