“Moving to Newcastle, it did take some adjusting to. I’m living on my own for the first time. I’ve had loan moves before, so I’ve had that experience before, but this is the longest I’ve been away from my family. It is helped by the fact that my extended family live in Gateshead, which is only 20 minutes away from my house. I didn’t see much of them when we were living in Norfolk, but they are relationships I’m enjoying building.
“When I first found out Newcastle wanted me, I was buzzing. They were the team we all supported, we didn’t have a choice. My nanna sent us the new strip every Christmas. My first game was against PSV Eindhoven in the Uefa Cup, Gary Speed scored the winner. When I climbed up the steps and saw St James’ Park for the first time, I was like wow, just wow. My agent told me Newcastle were interested. My mum said: ‘Right, this has got to happen.’ My dad, he was like, ‘Well what happens if you stay at Norwich for one more season, get more games and more experience?’ But it was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down and he saw that. He was just a bit more cautious.
“I was desperate to impress, it was my dream move and maybe that didn’t help in a funny way. I would try things, dribbling at players and when you lose the ball, there is a reaction, disappointment. You hear it when there are 52,000 people in the stadium. It was annoying more than anything, because I knew what I was capable of and it didn’t work out at first. I was mainly being used as a sub, coming on for a few minutes. I tried too hard. I would try to do too many elaborate things and they wouldn’t come off and that would frustrate the fans. I was aware of it, but when I started games, I started to find my rhythm and I feel I’m putting the performances in.”