Andros Townsend has had a crash course in the unpredictable nature of Newcastle United over the course of the last seven weeks.

In that time he has signed for United, seen a manager sacked and then one of the biggest names in World football walk through the door after exiting Real Madrid.

When added to the fact that he has also enjoyed his first regular chance of Premier League football in two years since arriving on Tyneside, looked a better class than the existing players along with Jonjo Shelvey, then got injured…little wonder if he wonders just what he has walked into at St James Park.

However, the winger thinks that the ‘future will be bright’ if the team can just ‘survive this season’.

Andros Townsend made his comeback on Monday night as a substitute and despite clearly not being 100%, he still added an extra quality and threat to a team who had plenty of possession but still looked short of ideas when getting near the business end of the pitch.

It will be a massive boost to see him start against Sunderland and personally, I see him as the potential match winner for Newcastle.

Townsend says that the players found out by text when Rafa Benitez replaced Steve McClaren, though all the players were expecting it .

Unlike many others before (and currently) him, Andros Townsend looks unfazed by the intensity and pressure of playing for Newcastle and says he thrives on fan expectation, the winger stating that he cannot wait for Sunday’s match to come along.

Andros Townsend speaking to The Mirror:

“I can’t say much publicly on the tactics – that is a secret – but he (Rafa Benitez) is trying to fill us with confidence, that is key.

“We know we are not performing to our potential and we have underachieved. He has come in to help Newcastle realise their potential as a club, as a squad, and as a city.

“It is an incredible atmosphere in the North London derby game and I have been told this one is a level up, I am excited. Especially with it being Rafa Benitez’ first (home) game the atmosphere will be incredible. I genuinely can’t wait.

“It is not pressure. It is a boost when you have fans dragging you to victory. It is definitely a positive. Hopefully we can start fast and keep them on side for the whole 90 minutes.

“I have not been here long and it is an important derby for many reasons. We have a fantastic chance now to play the sides in and around us. It is down to us and that is the way we wanted it. We are confident.

“I am excited to work with a manager who has coached the best, won everything in the game, managed huge games. I hope this is going to be a successful partnership. If we can just survive this season then the future will be bright.

“We all got a text last Friday. We were all expecting it. I have been in the game long enough to see managers come and go. We knew the drill, knew the new manager would come and get his points across to us in training sessions as soon as he could.

“Every manager has their own ideas. You could see against Leicester on Monday night the way he wanted us and this week has been the same.

“When we hear the fans you realise how much we don’t want to let the fans and the city down.”