Siem de Jong says that with only four weeks until the start of the season, Newcastle’s players have to quickly adapt from what they did under Alan Pardew to Steve McClaren’s keep-ball style.
The Dutch midfielder says that he is also getting there on the personal front.
Having worked specifically on the leg muscles after his thigh operation last season, de Jong feels he is now at the point where he simply needs to add sharpness/explosiveness to his game.
The player believing this will naturally come from extra training and matches.
Siem de Jong was a big miss last season as he was expected to provide much of the creativity and goals to replace Yohan Cabaye.
Fingers crossed he can stay fit and show he is capable of adapting to the Premier League, transferring his profile & success from the weaker Dutch league – alongside exciting new signing Georginio Wijnaldum.
Speaking to the club’s TV channel, Siem de Jong:
“I’m glad to have played again, it’s different from training – it was a hard week and this 45 minutes (v Gateshead) was tough for me after a hard season, but I’m pleased to be playing normal pre season.
“It wasn’t the best game in the world but glad that we won and hopefully we can build on that in America.”
“I need to get more games in, as it has been a tough year. I spoke to the manager and the trainers, that I just need a little bit more extra from training and matches, then with that I will keep on getting stronger. I feel strong and I did a lot of gym work, especially on the muscles on my legs. I just need to get that little bit of explosiveness in, that sharpness.”
“He (Steve McClaren) had a great run with (FC) Twente when I was at Ajax, so I know a little bit about him from there. I think he is a good manager, he wants to keep the ball and really knows what he wants – what he wants to improve in training.
Interviewer: ‘Is this style of keeping the ball under Steve McClaren suited to you?’
“As I said, I need to improve my own game but it is a different kind of play to last season. We need to get used to it, as individuals and as a team.