Paul Dummett “Florian Lejeune…he’s a big unit”
Newcastle kicked off their six match pre-season schedule with a 2-1 win at Hearts on Friday night.
An entertaining open game saw Dwight Gayle score twice and both sides hit the woodwork, whilst the home side blazed a penalty high over the bar.
Paul Dummett says that it is all about moving towards match fitness, though admits it is a bonus when you are creating chances and winning a friendly.
Due to turn 26 in September, this will be the fifth season of first team football at Newcastle for the Geordie defender and whilst some may doubt his Premier League credentials, there is no doubt when it comes down to his commitment to the club.
Not much extra competition for places just yet…but Paul Dummett says everybody has been impressed with how quickly Florian Lejeune has fitted in.
Interesting to see in these next few weeks which players will see their places hopefully under threat by further signings.
“It’s been intense but we have done a lot of ball work as well – the manager had us doing the same last season, and he’s keen to use the ball early.
“We’ve been training as normal with running on top, so it has been enjoyable, which is probably not something you normally hear a lot from players – what you want to do as a player is play with the ball, and we have already been doing that so that’s great.
“The lads will all agree with me that since the first day of training Florian Lejeune has fitted straight in, comfortable on the ball, and he’s a big unit – strong as well.
“He’s also good in the air, a lot of attributes he can bring to our team, and he can bring a lot of competition.
“It’s always tough in the first pre-season game but it is good to get the legs going, the result is not massively important but it’s good for us to get a win for our first game after our first week in training.
“We’ve got some other games coming up in the next few weeks, and a training camp, then we can try and get a bit more fitness in that before another match on Saturday (at Preston).
“We hit the bar (at Hearts) a couple of times, Dwight had a few chances, Rolando too – we created a lot of chances so it was a positive thing, especially for the first game when you might be a little bit rusty.
“It is about getting rid of the rustiness, nice to win the game too because you don’t want to lose but the main priority was match fitness.”
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