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Rondón ready for Selhurst showdown

Written by Tom Easterby

Newcastle United forward Salomón Rondón feels securing that elusive first win of the season at Crystal Palace on Saturday would lift the Magpies’ spirits as they bid to climb the Premier League table.

United head to Selhurst Park this weekend, and Venezuelan international Rondón is among the players vying for a starting berth in Rafa Benítez’s side.

And the on-loan West Bromwich Albion frontman believes a victory – which he hopes will come sooner rather than later – could be enough to turn the tide as Newcastle look to move out of the bottom three.

“It’s difficult for the supporters when they are seeing the team near the bottom of the table, but everyone knows our skills and that we work really hard. This is the Premier League, this is the game, and you have to get focussed on the next game,” he told nufc.co.uk.

“The next game for us is Palace, so we have to get the three points. I think, in my opinion, you have to get just one win to get the confidence back. We know it’s a difficult game for us away at Palace, but we have to improve and do our best.

“Everyone knows, with Crystal Palace, how they play. They have quality players, but we have to impose our game and be efficient when we create chances and score goals.

“The most important thing is the team and our game, and to just be careful when they try to play, because they are really quick on the counter attack. Everyone knows how they play and we know, of course, how we will play.”

Rondón was an unused substitute in the 2-1 defeat to Arsenal at St. James’ Park last weekend.

In the fortnight prior to the setback against the Gunners, the 29-year-old was away with his country, where he featured against Colombia before scoring both of Venezuela’s goals in their 2-0 win over Panama.

Having recharged after the lengthy trip back to Tyneside, Rondón says he’s ready to stake his claim for a place in Benítez’s starting 11 for the trip to Selhurst Park.

“It was good for me, because I scored two goals with my national team. Of course, it’s a long flight from Panama – our last game was there – but I’m happy and confident when you score goals there. After, it was about being focussed and getting back to Newcastle.

“I feel good. It’s a long flight, with the jet lag – it’s six hours behind in Panama – so when you arrive here you have to change quickly. It’s difficult sometimes because you can’t sleep and things like that, but now I’m more settled, so that’s good.

“Every week for me is about preparing and being ready for the game. It’s the gaffer’s decision, so you just have to work really, really hard. He chooses the team and I just have to work – you have to work really, really hard, just be focussed when the opportunity comes, and try to enjoy it.”

"The next game for us is Palace, so we have to get the three points. I think, in my opinion, you have to get just one win to get the confidence back. We know it’s a difficult game for us away at Palace, but we have to improve and do our best."

Salomón Rondón

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