Star man sets target for Newcastle after fourth straight home win

Oli Fisher

Fabian Schar has urged Newcastle to maintain their momentum to ease across the finishing line in the race for Premier League survival as soon as possible.

The Magpies won in the league for the fourth successive home game on Tuesday evening when they beat Burnley 2-0, three days after Huddersfield had succumbed by the same score at St James’ Park.

Those victories had eased the club seven points clear of the relegation zone by the time the final whistle sounded, and while there was satisfaction on Tyneside, minds quickly turned to Saturday’s trip to West Ham and the prospect of more.

Schar said: “We knew before how massive the two home games would be, especially playing against two teams more or less in the same position in the table.

“We wanted to get the points and we have shown in the last few weeks that we can perform. I am happy about that.

“Hopefully we can keep working like this and we have another game this week, so we are looking for more points.”

If Rafael Benitez’s men had cruised to victory over 10-man Huddersfield at the weekend, they had to work much harder for the points against a Burnley side which boasted an eight-game unbeaten run before kick-off.

The Clarets were not at their best before the break and the home side took full advantage, with Schar blasting them into a 24th-minute lead with a blistering long-range drive which went in off the upright before Sean Longstaff doubled their advantage 14 minutes later with his first Premier League goal.

Burnley were better in the second half, but Newcastle coped admirably with their direct approach to wrap up a priceless win.

Schar’s superb strike, which left in-form keeper Tom Heaton clutching at thin air, was his third since he joined the club in a bargain £3million summer switch from Deportivo la Coruna, and he revealed he had high hopes as soon as the ball left his boot.

The 27-year-old Switzerland international said: “Actually when you hit a ball, you can feel if it’s a good one or not.

“You never know. Sometimes if the ball is too far to the right it hits the post and goes out, but you know if you have hit it and the luck is with you. It was a special goal for me.”

Clarets boss Sean Dyche admitted the game had perhaps come too quickly after Saturday’s fine win over Tottenham.

Dyche said: “You have a big result – a super-big result, in fact – when you’re playing the big boys, like we did against Tottenham. And then the next one you’re always wondering, ‘How does that affect things?’.

“Sometimes that’s another learning curve, but we have done that well because we have delivered and delivered and delivered.

“You can never tell but if that had been a Saturday game, that just gets it out of yourself, that strange, wonderful feeling, that strange feeling of beating the big boys, a lot of noise, and then you have that clear week to be ready again.

“Maybe this game was just too quick. But Saturday we will be back.”


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