DeAndre Yedlin has urged Newcastle to put the disappointment of a missed opportunity behind them to belatedly secure their Premier League future.
The Magpies went into Saturday’s clash with Crystal Palace looking for a sixth successive home victory which would have taken them to 38 points and effective safety, but ultimately emerged on the wrong end of a 1-0 scoreline.
To rub salt into the wound, they were the architects of their own downfall as they squandered a series of good chances before succumbing to a sucker punch after conceding a late penalty.
Despite slipping to 15th place in the table, they remain seven points clear of Cardiff in the last remaining relegation berth, but know there is still work to be done ahead of Friday night’s difficult trip to Leicester.
Yedlin said: “We have to move on as quickly as possible, that’s the motive. We have to focus on the next game.
“We are quite close to safety now.”
In a tight encounter, it was Newcastle who enjoyed the better of the chances, particularly in a first half during which leading scorer Salomon Rondon might have helped himself to a hat-trick.
But crucially, they failed to take any of them and were undone at the death when Yedlin’s clumsy challenge on Wilfried Zaha after the Eagles had broken at pace allowed skipper Luka Milivojevic to blast home an 81st-minute spot-kick to win it.
Yedlin said: “I can’t really argue with the ref on that as I know I caught him. I don’t think I slid in and tried to take him down, I slowed down and caught him.
“We were just unfortunate at the defensive end. The performance was quite good, we created chances and got in good areas. It was just the details on the attacking and defensive side.”
Palace boss Roy Hodgson was understandably delighted with a performance of real character from his team.
Asked if his main emotion was relief at reaching 39 points, he said: “I think the biggest sense of relief was Huddersfield because that really was a game where if we hadn’t have won, the pressure would have piled up.
“Looking at our last fixtures after that, we’d have been looking saying, ‘There are some tough ones. First we go to Spurs, then we go to Newcastle, we’ve still got to go to the Arsenal, we have got Man City to play’.
“Unfortunately, all of these things, it weighs on you and you do think, ‘We could be in trouble’. But getting to that 36 points and having an eight-point margin to the teams in the relegation zone – which we have now increased – there’s definitely a feeling more of satisfaction than relief.
“The relief came after Huddersfield. Today, it’s the satisfaction and the knowledge that in the last five games, we can go into them trying to get as many points as we can, but without having to really concern ourselves that if we slip up in any way, it could be decisive.”
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