Georginio Wijnaldum admits that his impressive goalscoring form for Newcastle United this season has done little to ward off the disappointment of relegation.
The Netherlands international scored 11 times in the Premier League following a move from PSV last July for a reported €19million fee.
But the 25-year-old says it is difficult to put a positive spin on a campaign which saw Newcastle drop into the Championship, despite a six-game unbeaten run under Rafael Benitez which culminated in the 5-1 thrashing of Tottenham on the final day.
“In your first season, if you can score 11 goals it gives you confidence – but I’m devastated that my goals didn’t help the club to survive,” he told Newcastle’s official TV channel.
“That’s the feeling that I have right now and I think that’s the feeling that will stay for a long time.
“It’s difficult to be happy if you’re relegated; I scored goals but they don’t have a meaning any more because we are relegated. I’ve never played in this situation. I feel how it is to score but it will not help the team to survive, so I’m sad about that.
“Of course, I’m satisfied that we won against Tottenham; it was a big win, 5-1, but I’m still not happy because we were relegated.”