ALAN Pardew’s apologised to Newcastle United new boy Luuk de Jong – for throwing him in at the deep end against Sunderland.
The loan signing made his debut in Saturday’s 3-0 Tyne-Wear derby defeat.
De Jong, signed for the rest of the season from Borussia Monchengladbach, understandably lacked sharpness in front of goal after spending much of the past few months on the Bundesliga club’s bench.
The 23-year-old was brought by United manager Pardew on for the second half with his team trailing by two goals.
And the Holland international struggled to impose himself on a game which looked beyond Newcastle well before his introduction in place of Sammy Ameobi.
“I felt sorry for Luuk,” Pardew told the Gazette. “I had to put him right in the deep end.
“Luuk wasn’t expecting him to get half a game, I’m sure.
“But we’ll get him a game under this belt this week and get him up to speed a little bit. It was a tough game.”
Pardew needs to quickly get de Jong up to speed, though he is unlikely to face Sunderland again tonight.
The two clubs meet in the Under-21 Premier League at the Stadium of Light (7pm kick-off).
Asked if de Jong would be considered for the fixture, Pardew said: “We’ll see how he is, as he’s played half a game.
“Maybe we’ll keep him out of that and work him on the training ground.”
De Jong admitted labelled his debut “terrible” given the dreadful result.
“It’s a terrible debut for me – I’m so disappointed,” he said.
“I’m happy to be here and to play, but it is not the beginning I hoped for. I had a couple of chances, and I expect myself to finish better there. I’m not satisfied with that.”
Meanwhile, Newcastle fans will be housed in the South Stand at the Stadium of Light for the Under-21s game tonight. Entry is through turnstiles 61 and 62.