Joe Willock made his debut for Newcastle this weekend after joining on loan from Arsenal until the end of the season, and expressed his delight with the win.
The midfielder had impressed for the Gunners in the Europa League earlier in the campaign, but struggled to make his mark in the Premier League, and decided to take up the offer to leave on loan on Deadline Day.
Willock wasted no time in making his mark for his new side however, scoring within 16 minutes of his debut, setting his side up for victory, although it was a battle.
The Toon looked destined to coast t victory after moving 3-1 up just before the half-time whistle, but within five minutes of the restart they found themselves down to 10-men, and James Ward-Prowse had closed the deficit down to one.
Newcastle were later forced down to nine-men, when Fabian Schar was unable to continue thanks to injury, but they still managed to cling onto victory, and Willock couldn’t be happier.
“I said in my first interview that I wanted to score goals and help the team, and I’m happy to have been able to do that straight away,” Willock said after Newcastle’s win over Southampton (via NE). “I just want to push on now. The next game, I’m looking forward to it, and we’re looking to get another three points.
“We’re all buzzing to have got the three points here. I think we needed that – I think we needed to push on from last week. I’m buzzing to score and help the team. That’s what I want to do, that’s why I’m here, and I want to look forward now.”
The young Gunner went onto reveal the effort they had to put in to get over the line after the loss of two men in the second-half.
“We had to stick together,” Willock added. “It was two banks of four and we had to grind with each other, fighting for every header and every ball. All the boys were geeing each other up, and I’m really happy to have got the three points.
“I haven’t had that for a while to be honest with you, that feeling of just being there with the boys, and it’s just going to bring us closer. The next game, we’re going to fight for each other even more. We want to keep pushing on from this.”
Willock showed many glimpses of his talent in the Europa League, but wasn’t able to reproduce that form in the Premier League despite getting his chances, but to claim he hasn’t been getting the push from his Arsenal team-mates seems a little disrespectful.
Does Willock mean to aim a dig at Arsenal?