Newcastle United have a ‘Premier League squad that’s playing in the Championship’, that is the verdict of new signing Grant Hanley.
Despite all the ins and outs this summer the new Newcastle defender reckons it is a ‘good opportunity to bounce straight back’ to the Premier League.
However, he also expresses caution and says that the tough nature of the second tier can catch people out if they’re not prepared.
Very few favourites have won the Championship in the last 15 years and not an awful lot more have simply been promoted.
However, Newcastle are odds on favourites to go up and you have to feel that their fate is in their own hands.
With the biggest fanbase, wage bill and no doubt transfer spend this summer, United have everything in their favour.
Grant Hanley is Rafa’s sixth signing and is the fourth to have previous knowledge of the Championship.
The centre-back says he is what he is and won’t beat 10 men before putting the ball into the top corner but he is committed and he will offer leadership.
Two things that were often missing for Newcastle United last season.
Sporting Lokeren could provide Grant Hanley’s first taste of action – good luck to him and the rest of the squad this season.
Grant Hanley talking to the official club website:
“People underestimate it (Championship), everybody says that it is a good league but physically and mentally it’s a test.
“The games come thick and fast and there’s not much recovery time. They just keep coming and you just need to keep going.
“It’s a tough, tough league and I think it catches people by surprise sometimes just how hard it is.
“They have still got a Premier League squad that’s playing in the Championship, so it’s a good opportunity to bounce straight back – and I know that’s the goal here, so I’m glad to be part of that.
“What you see is what you get, really. I’m a centre-half and I don’t like putting tags or names on anything but I always give everything I’ve got and try to do my best for the team.
“I’m not one who’s going to dribble past ten people and put the ball in the top corner so I like to think I make up for it in other ways, and talking and organising and being a leader is something I’ve always tried to have in my game.
“At the same time, I still feel I’m young enough, I’ve still got a lot to learn, so it’s important to come here and realise it’s a great chance to improve, keep working hard and getting better.”
“Now (the move) eventually got done, I’m desperate to kick on and get going.
“I’ve not played any minutes this pre-season, although I’ve done a lot of training I’ve not played any games.
“So first and foremost it’ll be good to get some minutes under my belt to get ready for the season and then it’s a chance to put a marker down and show what I’ve got.”