The Magpies’ poor campaign has surprised most considering the amount of money they’ve spent and the quality available in their squad, yet Palace winger Sako feels they haven’t played as a team this season.
“It’s surprising what’s happened with Newcastle, they have a really good team and some really good players but sometimes if you don’t play as a team this is what happens,” Sako told Palace’s official website.
Newcastle looked like certs for relegation under former boss Steve McClaren, yet the arrival of his successor Rafa Benitez as spurred the players on and they now represent a different proposition altogether.
The Tyneside club have three games to save their season, starting with Palace at home before travelling to Aston Villa and then ending the campaign by hosting title challengers Tottenham Hotspur.
Benitez’s side are unbeaten in their last three matches, and they will target six points from their next two matches against two sides who have very little to play for other than pride.