After being used sparingly in his first few months at Newcastle United, DeAndre Yedlin has just made three starts in the space of a week.
Newcastle have won all three matches, scoring 11 goals and conceding only the one, yet despite this the USA international thinks it is only a matter of time before Vurnon Anita is back in the first eleven.
DeAndre Yedlin says that he is learning a lot from the Ajax player in training every day and he’s sure Rafa Benitez will bring Anita back into the team, sooner rather than later.
Quite clearly, Rafa Benitez looked to form a squad in the summer where there was competition for every position in the squad and with one or two possible exceptions, there is little to choose between the various options.
Dwight Gayle was one of those exceptions but Aleksandar Mitrovic is now making a decent start on proving that assertion wrong, with Jonjo Shelvey probably the only player who has nobody capable of supplying anything like what the England international is capable of.
Competition is a great thing and clearly the squad is thriving on it, plus great to see such a positive attitude from a young player like DeAndre Yedlin, who is able to see the longer term benefits rather than worrying about not having a divine right to a place now.
The USA international brings a totally different set of skills as compared to Vurnon Anita, Yedlin adding impressive pace to the team going forwards as well as defending, whilst the Dutchman is more composed on the ball and better positional sense.
If DeAndre Yedlin can add those to his game, then he could be some player in the future.
“You are battling for a place in the team against a guy like Vurnon Anita with so much experience, I’m trying to learn as much as I can from him and I’m sure that we’ll keep switching starts.
“He’s a guy that I’ve already learned a lot from, so I’m very pleased to be able to work with him on a day-in, day-out basis.
“Hats off to Preston – they made it very difficult for us, they played a good game.
“They’re strong defensively and they played their game, with long balls and playing in behind us, it was difficult to play against.
“You do what you’ve got to do, especially in this league. We had to graft and battle and that’s what we did today – we came away with three points.
“I think we did very well in the end. There was a couple of dodgy plays that obviously you never want to happen when you’re in that situation, but we held out and we worked hard, got those three points that we needed.”
“When one player is out, another one can step in and do a great job, and that’s what I think makes our team so strong, especially this year.
“The depth of our squad is unbelievable and everybody’s fighting for a position. Also, everybody wants to win, so even if you’re not involved in the squad you’re still supporting the guy who’s playing your position, which I think you need in a successful team.
“We’ve just got to keep it going. We can’t stop now, we can’t get too excited about it, because it’s a long season and anything can happen. We have to keep working hard in training and keep doing what we’re doing on the pitch.
“I hope this run continues and I hope we keep winning games – but in this league anything can happen, so we can’t get too comfortable and we have just got to keep fighting.
“The fans have been unbelievable – the amount of fans that come on the road is incredible, then obviously our home support is top of the league, so we’re very fortunate to have the fans that we have.
“As a whole club we are doing alright now, we just need to keep it going.”