Belfast Telegraph

We should aim higher than just beating the drop, says Magpies defender Yedlin

DeAndre Yedlin is adamant that Newcastle will not set their sights too low as they attempt to continue a positive start to life back in the Premier League.

The 24-year-old United States defender turned in an impressive individual display as the Magpies produced a gritty performance to draw 1-1 with misfiring Liverpool at St James' Park on Sunday.

That left them with 10 points from their first seven games, a quarter of the way to manager Rafael Benitez's stated initial target of 40 and top-flight safety, and sitting in ninth place.

However, with points having slipped away in disappointing defeats at both Huddersfield and Brighton, with whom Newcastle emerged from the Sky Bet Championship at the end of last season, Yedlin knows the total could have been significantly higher.

He said: "We might have taken that, but by the same token, we don't want to put our expectations too low.

"We have to keep expectations high for ourselves. We know the fans have high expectations for us too.

"There are situations and mistakes that we need to fix, but I think we're pretty happy where we are at now and we'll get better."

Yedlin, a strong attacking force from right-back during the club's Championship campaign, has found a greater focus on his defensive duties in the top flight, and he did his job to great effect against the Reds, at one point covering across magnificently to deny Mohamed Salah after he had escaped the attentions of Ciaran Clark.

He admitted his efforts to help keep the pacy Salah, Sadio Mane and Daniel Sturridge at bay had taken their toll, but was delighted with the collective resilience which kept his side in the game and allowed Joselu to cancel out Philippe Coutinho's 27th-minute stunner before a concerted rearguard action.

He said: "It a tough task and, after the game, I don't think I've felt more tired. But obviously I will do whatever I can to help the team.

"I am glad I was able to contribute. I am happy that we were able to get a point out of a tough game.

"It's no secret that their big strength is their attacking power. We tried to slow them down a bit and frustrate them with being good defensively, and I think we did that."

There was added excitement on Tyneside when billionaire businesswoman Amanda Staveley, who is said to be interested in investing in and has more than once been linked with a Premier League club, was spotted in the stands at St James'.

However, it is understood she was at the game as a guest of Liverpool director and former Reds and Newcastle boss Kenny Dalglish and not at the invitation of the Magpies.

Nevertheless, her presence was interesting given Mike Ashley's ongoing search for fresh investment, with the sportswear magnate understood to be prepared to listen to genuine offers either to bolster the club's income or to buy it.

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