Belfast Telegraph

World Cup 2018

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Joselu would exchange goals for victories

Joselu has admitted he would settle for another barren 90 minutes against Everton if it meant three Premier League points for sliding Newcastle.

The Spanish striker ended a seven-game wait for a goal dating back to October 1 when he fired the Magpies into a fifth-minute lead over Leicester on Saturday, only to end up empty-handed after a 3-2 defeat on a dramatic and demoralising evening at St James' Park.

Rafael Benitez's men will welcome the Toffees to Tyneside on Wednesday evening sitting just two points above the relegation zone after a run of six defeats in seven outings and knowing they face a bleak Christmas if they cannot halt an alarming plunge.

Joselu told NUFC TV: "Every striker needs to score goals and after that, I hope it's good for me because every striker when they score, it's good for them and for the team.

"But we need results, we need the three points and I'd prefer to not score in the next game and win the game.

"We will try to recover quickly now because we know how important the next game is. We're playing at home and we need to take the three points. We need the points for the classification."

Joselu's early strike from Dwight Gayle's intelligent pull-back briefly raised spirits at St James', but Leicester's response was concerted and they were well on top by the time Riyad Mahrez deservedly equalised with an emphatic 20th-minute strike.

There was an element of fortune about Demarai Gray's finish which gave the visitors the lead on the hour after his shot clipped defender Florian Lejeune on its way to goal, but not about Mahrez's raking pass and Marc Albrighton's fine first-touch lay-off which set him up.

To their credit, Newcastle kept going despite being second-best for long periods and thought they had got their reward with 17 minutes remaining when Gayle levelled with the help of a deflection off Harry Maguire, but substitute Ayoze Perez's own goal four minutes from time dashed their hopes.

Joselu said: "The problem is how difficult it is in the Premier League. We kept fighting for the 90 minutes and tried to win the game and take the three points, but it was an unlucky goal, you lose the game and you go home with this frustration.

"One point for both teams would have been a good result, but that's football it's so cruel. But we will keep fighting and try to win the next game."

If there were frowns on the faces of the locals on the final whistle, the Leicester contingent left wreathed in smiles after a third successive league victory ahead of a midweek trip to Southampton.

Manager Claude Puel said: "It's important to consolidate our position in the table. We have had three good results, but now it's important to continue in this way because we want to continue to have momentum and consistency.

"That's the most important thing."

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