New Newcastle striker Dwight Gayle says he has been pleasantly surprised by the positive atmosphere in the dressing room in pre-season despite the club being relegated from the Premier League last campaign.
The 25 year old made the decision to step down a division after making the £10million move from Crystal Palace but he told the Evening Chronicle that he is looking forward to working under Magpies boss Rafa Benitez and learning as much as he can from the Spanish manager:
“I was surprised when I came in just how positive everyone is around the place. It didn’t feel like a team going in to the Championship from the Premier League, there was a great atmosphere and we are all just excited for the new season. We are raring to go. It was a strange one to be fair because everyone has been at it in training, raring to go and everyone wants to get in the team for the season ahead. He [Benitez] is a great manager, a great tactical manager and I will learn a lot from him this season.”
Gayle looks set to start Newcastle’s first league match of the season against Fulham on Friday night after figuring prominently in preseason. He scored against Vitesse Arnhem in the 3-2 win at St James’ Park last weekend as well as starting the 2-0 win against Southend United last Tuesday. With fellow striker Aleksandar Mitrovic suspended for the first four matches of the season, Gayle is in pole position to start at Craven Cottage.