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I'll give Man United nightmares – Carroll

ANDY Carroll hasn't lost any sleep worrying about facing Manchester United's star-studded defence.

Instead, Newcastle United's new No9 has been dreaming of helping his team to a famous victory at Old Trafford tonight.

Carroll is relishing his first appearance at the stadium, having previously never left the bench.

And facing Nemanja Vidic won't faze the 21-year-old, who feels he can physically compete in the Premier League after coming through the Championship's school of hard knocks.

"I feel a lot stronger physically, so going back into the Premier League is something I can do with confidence going in against the big defenders," Carroll told the Gazette. "If anything, I can't wait to get started.

"I'm not somebody who can't sleep thinking about it. I'm fine – I sleep easily and get on with things. I'm not fussed thinking about things too much – I just get on with the job."

Carroll, likely to play as a lone striker, had a taste of top-flight football the season before last, scoring three goals, and he went on to bang in 19 more in the club's promotion campaign.

The Gateshead-born striker added: "I was younger back then, but I still think I did all right.

"I had my first full season of regular football in the Championship, and now I know what it's like in that division, and what playing regularly means.

"You learn from that. You learn all the time when you're around the top players.

"And to get the chance to play against Manchester United at Old Trafford in front of 77,000 people is great for me. It's a great test, and one I cant wait to get stuck into.

"But it's not just about me – the whole team has a job to do. The main aim for any team is to try to keep a clean sheet, and if we do that tonight, we'll be delighted."

Meanwhile, Newcastle target Hatem Ben Arfa has threatened to put his career on "hold" as he bids to seal a move to St James's Park.

The winger, 24, is furious with Marseille, storming out last week after a loan move to United was apparently blocked.

"It's because the club officials don't give a damn about me that I am prepared to put my career on hold," said Ben Arfa. "I am prepared not to play all season."

 
 
 

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