Describing his first experience of St James Park as ‘surreal’, new signing Grant Hanley said that he ‘really had to pinch myself’ to believe it was happening.

The defender says that ‘It is not every day’ that you get a chance to play for a club like Newcastle and the passionate fanbase.

Whilst it is only words at the minute, Newcastle have bought far too many players who possibly did have the ability but certainly not the mental strength to play in front of fifty thousand fans every week.

Hopefully Grant Hanley will be one of those that can handle it.

As well as the nightmare players we have witnessed bottling it, it is also fair to say that we have had plenty players who didn’t have the greatest talent but became far better players because of the way they thrived on the support at St James Park.

Grant Hanley speaking to the match programme v Vitesse Arnhem:

“I can’t wait to play there (St James Park) as a home player.

I knew Newcastle was a massive club but when I got there to sign I went to the stadium and I really had to pinch myself.

“It was surreal…

“It’s not every day you get a chance to come to play for a club like this in front of these fans, who everybody knows just how passionate they are.

“It really took a while to sink in and I am really looking forward to it now.”