De Jong thanks fans for 'push'

Luuk De Jong has thanked the loyal Newcastle United fan base for having 'pushed' the players to victory over Aston Villa on Sunday.

The Magpies left it late to secure a first success at St James' Park since Boxing Day, but snatched a dramatic three points courtesy of Loic Remy's stoppage-time strike.

A welcome win also halted an alarming slump in form which had brought three straight defeats and four games without a goal.

The pressure was on Alan Pardew's side to deliver in their latest outing, and De Jong claims the fantastic backing the squad received from the terraces helped those on the field to dig a little deeper and grind out a result.

The Dutch striker told the Gazette: "It was really important to win at home, especially for the fans.

"They pushed us on in the last five or 10 minutes, and that helped us.

"We created some good chances and eventually at the end we scored the goal."

January arrival De Jong has also praised Newcastle's defensive unit for keeping the back door bolted and picking up just a second clean sheet of 2014.

He added: "Everyone is happy as we hadn't won for a few games.

"We were afraid they may score on the counter near the end, but we also have to say that our defence and Tim Krul were really good.

"We were a little but unlucky when Remy's shot hit the post, which would have given me an assist. In the end, though, we won the game and it was a good finish by Remy."