Kieran Trippier underlines what's needed at Newcastle United to ensure a 'big club' mentality

Newcastle United star Kieran Trippier will be tasked with the role of dressing room leader as Eddie Howe looks for fresh inspiration to get the Magpies over the line and into Europe.

Trippier made his return from a calf injury on Saturday but the man with 10 assists is back at a good time. The truth is, Newcastle's squad still has players who are more accustomed to fighting relegation rather than the battle for Europe and Trippier openly spoke about dealing with the pressure in a better way after the 1-1 draw against Brighton.

For all Trippier's injury issues and battle against a drop in form, he has still delivered for the majority of the campaign. It was Trippier who netted the goal that Newcastle back into to yield what could be a big point against Luton when the heads of others dropped, and his assists over a crucial post-Christmas period helped breathe new life into a season written off, now he's ready to do it again.

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Trippier told reporters after the game: "Without being big-headed, throughout my whole career since Tottenham I’ve been in that position in Europa League or Champions League and there’s no better feeling than being in Europe.

"We’ve experienced that this season, it’s been good for the lads who have never played in Europe before to experience it. With the way the club is going, you need to be in Europe, you need to be competing at the top of the table. Under the circumstances we’ve been in this season we’re in a good position to finish the season strong."

Trippier stated that it was all about coping with the pressure when the stakes become so high, something some members of the Newcastle squad aren't used to. Trippier said: "We’ve got to be honest, we’ve got to be realistic as well – we are ahead of schedule but that comes with expectation, it comes with pressure, we’ve got to deal with that as players.

"We’ve got a great squad and if that squad was fully fit, I think you look at the first game of the season and me personally I think it would have been a different season. But there were always going to be injuries this season but I think ours have been ridiculous."

For all the adversity, Newcastle still sit in sixth place going into the final two games and an automatic Europa League spot is theirs to lose. The England full-back said: "I think it’s a massive achievement. The season we’ve had – freak injuries, I think at one point we had 12, 13 players out. The players that have been fit throughout the season deserve huge credit.

"But we’ve got the right manager who gives us that message, that never-say-die attitude throughout the season."