Georginio Wijnaldum does not believe Newcastle United are in a relegation battle
Georginio Wijnaldum does NOT believe Newcastle United are in a relegation battle – as “anything can happen”.
Wijnaldum won the Dutch league with PSV Eindhoven last season.
And the midfielder has seemingly swapped a title defence and Champions League football for a relegation fight.
But Wijnaldum – who scored in last weekend’s 2-0 win over Liverpool – is not panicking.
“I don’t get it why people keep saying to me I am fighting against relegation,” said the 25-year-old, speaking ahead of tomorrow’s game against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane.
“If we are still this low ranked on the table at the end of the season, then I will be doing that. But at this moment in time, anything can happen.
“Take Leicester. They were at the bottom of the table around this time last season. They battled themselves out of the drop zone and look at them now – top of the league.”
Wijnaldum does not regret his move to United – despite the club’s plight.
“Personally, I am doing OK, and I didn’t make the decision the join Newcastle overnight,” he said. “I put some real serious thought into it, so I knew what to expect.”
Wijnaldum says he and his team-mates were desperate to “make amends” for the defeats to Crystal Palace and Leicester City when they took on Liverpool.
“We really wanted to make amends,” he said. “We still had the faith and had to respond adequately to the past results.
“Every match in the Premier League is a big task, but it takes a little bit extra to overcome two bad results by playing a good third one.
“Personally, I found it easy, because you know you have to work extra hard and have to react.”
Wijnaldum – who scored four goals in October’s 6-2 win over Norwich City – is wary of saying the Liverpool result will prove a “turning point” for the team.
“I don’t want to talk about a turning point too soon,” he said. “That’s what we said after the Norwich match?
“We have to learn from this match and the previous two. We should know how to win now.”
United’s players were booed off after the Palace and Leicester defeats, and Wijnaldum says the club’s fans have deserved more this season.
“The atmosphere at St James’s Park is fantastic, but it can be quite difficult too,” he said. “If things aren’t going our way, and they have the feeling we aren’t giving it our all, it can be quite tough.
“If they see you are giving it 100%, you will get their full support. They become our 12th man, but they expect something in return. That makes perfect sense.”