After making his first appearance for Newcastle United, Goerginio Wijnaldum declared that ‘It feels good to wear the shirt’.
The Dutch international made his first appearance in black and white when coming on for the final 21 minutes of Saturday’s night’s (4am Sunday UK time) friendly against Sacramento.
Unfortunately, United fans didn’t really get any chance to judge former PSV midfielder’s skills, as he was pressed into more defensive duties due to Massadio Haidara’s sending off, five minutes after Wijnaldum replaced fellow countryman Siem de Jong.
An eventful game all round for Haidara as his cross led to the winning own goal just a few minutes into the second half, with Newcastle looking pretty dire overall.
With almost a total lack of creativity or goal threat against a team who play in the third tier of football in the States, it would have been interesting to see if Wijnaldum could have made the difference when it was 11 v 11.
Nevertheless he got 21 minutes under his belt and will hopefully start on Tuesday against Portland Timbers.
After the final whistle, Gini Wijnaldum had this to say to the official NUFC website:
“It feels good to wear the shirt. I waited a few days for my first game but it felt really good.
“I came on when we were 1-0 up but we’d got the red card just before, so I knew the final part of the game was going to be tough.”
Getting the winning habit:
“It was a good result as in the first half it was difficult because they had a man free in midfield between the lines, though we played well in the second half and then once the red card came we stayed compact and saw the game out well.
“You always play to win and if you get into a winning habit then it’s good, performances matter and normally with good performances come good results. We have to learn from every game at this stage of the season though, whatever the result.”