Joe Willock revealed he has been putting pressure on Newcastle manager Steve Bruce to give him a starting spot and it paid off in the Magpies’ 4-2 win away to Leicester.
The midfielder, on loan from Arsenal, scored his side’s first goal and has now netted in each of his last four appearances for Newcastle.
The first three of those came from cameos off the bench, and Willock was grateful to get the chance to make an impact from the start against Leicester.
Joe Willock scored for the four match in a row in Newcastle’s impressive 4-2 win over Leicester
The midfielder revealed he has been knocking on Steve Bruce’s door to try and get a start
‘We knew we had to get something out of today’s game,’ Willock told Sky Sports. ‘To come here and do it so convincingly is brilliant.
‘I’ve come off the bench a few times and scored. So I was knocking on the door and I told the manager I needed to start and he believed in me and put me in and hopefully I repaid him.’
After Willock’s opener, a Paul Dummett header and a second-half brace from Callum Wilson put the visitors four goals up.
Marc Albrighton and Kelechi Iheanacho halved the deficit to set up a slightly nervy finish, but Newcastle held on for a deserved win.
The result effectively confirms the club’s Premier League survival, and Willock was proud of how clinical his side were on the break as they stuck to their gameplan.
Callum Wilson scored a second-half brace as the visitors tore Leicester apart on the counter
‘They are a top side, fighting for the Champions League,’ Willock said.
‘We had to defend well and knew we had more than enough pace on the counter to get the goals like we did today. That was not how we wanted to finish. We wanted to stay on top.
‘All week we have been trying to stay compact and when we get behind them be ruthless. I am happy Callum [Wilson] is back on the scoresheet and that will give him confidence.’
Newcastle host Manchester City and Sheffield United in their next two matches, before travelling to Craven Cottage to face Fulham on the last day of the season.
Paul Dummett rose well to nod in Newcastle’ second goal and send them on their way in win
The win effectively secured Newcastle’s Premier League safety with three matches remaining
That match had the potential to be a relegation decider, but with Steve Bruce’s side now in 13th and 12 points ahead of Fulham, they look certain to be playing top-flight football once again next season.
Paul Dummett was full of praise for Willock after the match, and for the performance the whole team produced.
‘We stayed solid and hit them on the break quite a lot’ Dummett said. ‘It is going to be tough for teams to catch us now. It is a massive step in the right direction.
”Joe Willock has energy and always arrives in the box at the right time. He has given us a great lift.’