Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Support the Secret to Striker's Success

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Support the Secret to Striker's Success

Article excerpt

Byline: CHRIS WAUGH Newcastle United writer chris.waugh@reachplc.com @CHRISDHWAUGH

SALOMON Rondon credits his success at Newcastle United to Rafa Benitez - and more specifically to the Magpies' manager's decision to ensure he has plenty of support around him up front.

The 29-year-old is enjoying his best-ever goal-scoring season in the Premier League, having netted 10 times and also provided seven assists during his 31 appearances on loan at St James' Park.

During his three seasons at the Hawthorns, meanwhile, Rondon scored nine, eight and then seven goals respectively for West Bromwich Albion, while he never managed more than three league assists in a solitary campaign for the Baggies.

When analysing why he has been so successful on Tyneside, Rondon praised his manager Benitez for ensuring he has attackers running off him up front - something he did not necessarily enjoy at the Hawthorns under the management of Tony Pulis and Alan Pardew.

While Rondon can often appear to be an isolated figure up front for Newcastle, particularly against the top-six sides, the forward relishes such a role - as long as he has players advancing beyond him to chase flick-ons and to play into space.

The likes of Ayoze Perez and Miguel Almiron in particular have thrived in a front three alongside Rondon since January but the Venezuela international also singled out Christian Atsu and Yoshinori Muto for praise, too.

"I have scored 10 league goals this season now and I am really happy for that," Rondon said when asked to reflect upon his season on Tyneside.

"When I was at West Brom it was a difficult situation.

"When we went down last season I scored nine goals.

"A striker like me, I need players around me like Ayoze, Almiron, Atsu, Muto - players who try to play the ball to my feet so I can get the ball and try to score. …

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