Rondón reflects on West Ham reverse
Written by Rory Mitchinson
Salomón Rondón acknowledged that Newcastle United never really got going as the Magpies’ fine run of Premier League form was brought to a close by West Ham.
Declan Rice headed home Robert Snodgrass’ corner to give Manuel Pellegrini’s side an early lead – the first competitive goal United had conceded since Willy Boly’s controversial late equaliser for Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux.
Mark Noble doubled the Hammers’ advantage from the penalty spot after Florian Lejeune’s trip on Javier Hernández, giving the Magpies a mountain to climb coming out for the second half.
It was Rondón who came closest to pulling one back for Newcastle with a sweetly-struck free kick that was brilliantly tipped wide by ‘keeper Łukasz Fabiański, but – as the frontman admitted – the damage had long been done by that point.
“Today was a difficult game. They are a good team, they play at home and we did not start well,” the Venezuelan told nufc.co.uk. “We conceded many fouls and we conceded corners and free kicks, and that is something we have to be aware of. We’re disappointed, because the last two weeks we’ve played really well – in big games – and got some points. Today we didn’t but we have to carry on.
“When you concede in the first few minutes it is difficult – we were waiting to play our game-plan but we weren’t able to. When you concede early on it is hard to score because they are compact out of possession and they keep the ball (when they have it). After that, we conceded a penalty and we went into half time losing 2-0. We knew today would be a difficult game but we have to realise what we did wrong and approach the next game.”
United travelled to the London Stadium having beaten both Huddersfield Town and Burnley at St. James’ Park over the past week, moving six points clear of the Premier League’s relegation zone in the process.
Though frustrated that the Magpies squandered the chance to put further daylight between themselves and the bottom three, Rondón is hopeful they can pick up a fifth straight victory on home soil when they welcome mid-table Everton to Tyneside next Saturday.
“Of course, it has been a good week for us but when you are a winner you want to win any game – at home or away,” he said. “Our performances away have been good – we’ve won some games away and we wanted to carry on.
“But I always say if you want to stay up, the main thing is to win at home. We have to play against a difficult team – Everton are playing normally – but we know when we’re at home we have to win.”
"We’re disappointed, because the last two weeks we’ve played really well – in big games – and got some points. Today we didn’t but we have to carry on."