French winger Florian Thauvin has opened up about his 'complicated' spell at Newcastle United.
The 24-year-old has been a revelation since returning to his homeland with Marseille, after what was a difficult 12 months on Tyneside.
The £12million man made just three league starts for the Magpies under Steve McClaren and Rafa Benitez as United were relegated from the Premier League.
And with Championship football looming, Thauvin was sent on an initial loan back to Le Stade Vélodrome, where has been outstanding. So much so, he earned his first ever France international call for the most recent international break.
But when asked about his time at Newcastle - the end of the season will see his departure rubber-stamped - Thauvin has revealed that his disasterous spell made him doubt himself as a player.
Speaking to news outlet L'Equipe, he said: "My visit to Newcastle was complicated, it made me think, question myself.
"When I came back on loan, I was doing good things, even if all was not right.
"This summer I did a big physical preparation with a trainer, I analyzed my matches, I work a lot in training, I talk a lot with the coach with whom I have built a relationship of trust.
"I did a lot of work on myself and tried to erase my defects, I still have work but it is for all these reasons that today it works well."
Thauvin's at times lifeless showings saw him come in for criticism from the United fanbase, some fair, some a little unjustified.
But he has seen nothing of the sort in the South of France.
In fact, his performances, netting 12 in 35 games, have seen him establish himself as a firm fan favourite.
"It is normal for me to be close to the fans, it is a great pleasure for me," he said.
"I think people appreciate my attachment to the club, I never cheat. I try to respect my colors as much as possible. I think that's what people like."
One player who United seemed to be linked with one transfer window after the next, including last January, was Bafetimbi Gomis.
The striker is someone who Thauvin says has been a big help in his recent resurgence.
"Bafé (Gomis) frames us, he supervises the young people, myself included," he said.
"He did me a lot of good. I have an excellent relationship with Bafé. He talked a lot to me when I came back this summer, he advised me.
"It allowed me to regain self-confidence. He's a very important person to me. I want to thank him."