Martin Dubravka admits he is “very happy” with life at Newcastle United - and will be even more content once the Magpies secure the points necessary to ensure their top-flight future.
The 29-year-old goalkeeper has only been on Tyneside for five weeks, but he has made an instant impression during his first three Newcastle appearances since signing on an initial six-month loan from Sparta Prague.
After a man-of-the-match display on debut during the 1-0 victory over Manchester United at St James’ Park last month, Dubravka was also between the sticks for the Magpies’ 2-2 draw at AFC Bournemouth and 2-0 defeat at Anfield.
The Slovakia international is expected to keep his place in the side for Saturday’s crucial relegation clash with 17th-placed Southampton at St James’ Park.
With Newcastle facing a 21-day gap following this weekend’s game, Rafa Benitez’s 16th-placed side need a positive result in order to ensure they do not drop into the bottom three over the next few weeks.
“We need to find positive things. Of course, we lost [at Anfield], and we’re not happy. We will only be happy if we take points,” Dubravka explained.
“We need to look to the future and fight for every point. We are not in a good situation now, and we need to fight for it.
“These two games will be very important for us. We have to be very focused and we really hope we can take three points, especially at home.
“We have time now to analyse the things we did well and what we did badly. We will prepare for the next game, and of course it will be a long time before we play the next game. We need to stay focused, and of course we have to look at a positive way.
“I’m very happy with how things are going, that I can be here - and I will be happier when we take more points.”
Despite Newcastle’s meek display at Anfield, Dubravka believes there are positives United can build on from the game - including their goal difference, which remains superior to many of their relegation rivals.
Dubravka was also impressed by the fact Newcastle restricted Liverpool, who have scored 67 goals in 29 leagues games, to just three shots on target.
“We have to say we played against a very good team with amazing offensive power. It was a tough game for us, and unfortunately we didn’t score goals so we couldn’t be successful,” Dubravka added of the Liverpool defeat.
“I was unlucky [for Mo Salah’s goal]. It wasn’t the greatest shot, but it was close to me. Then we conceded a second one in the second half. The plan at half-time was that we needed to open the game and be more active, but we conceded the goal.
“Actually, they didn’t have as many chances as you would probably have expected. They only had a few, but they scored their goals.”