Vurnon Anita: I'll even play in goal for Newcastle if I have to!
Vurnon Anita is hoping his versatility will prove to be his strength in the Championship with Newcastle United.
Anita has been fielded in midfield and defence in pre-season by Rafa Benitez.
And the 27-year-old netted a superb goal in Tuesday night’s 2-0 win over Southend United.
Anita, handed a role on the right side of midfield at Roots Hall, feels well-equipped to help the team win promotion back to the Premier League given his ability to play in several positions.
“I feel like it is in me to play in multiple positions, and that enables me to be able to fill in where I can and do my best to try to help the team,” said Anita.
“I was able to do that with a goal at Southend, and I also think I produced a good performance. It is up to me now to keep on going and help the team, and show everybody what I can do.
“We all know the Championship is a difficult league with a lot of matches, so it is important to have people in the squad who can fill in in a number of different positions.
“I think I am one of those people, and hopefully that will help.
“I haven’t played in goal yet, but maybe if I have to play in goal, I will do that too!
“I have always felt comfortable in lots of different roles, and hopefully the manager knows that wherever he asks me to play, I will always do my best and give my all. I want to show everybody what I can do.”
Newcastle – who take on Vitesse Arnhem at St James’s Park on Saturday in their final warm-up game – are unbeaten so far this pre-season.
And Anita feels the signs are positive on AND off the pitch at United under Benitez.
“It was another good result and performance (against Southend), and that’s good for the team and for our confidence as well,” said Anita.
“But we are still not there yet. We have one more game to go, and hopefully we will finish this pre-season well because that will help us to start the real competition strongly.
“It always helps to be winning matches. It is good for building team spirit and making sure you are playing with confidence.
“Through this pre-season, we have grown as a team and now we are stronger than we were.
“But there are still a lot of things we have to improve, and we will be working hard on the training ground to try to improve that. I am sure we can still get a lot better than we are.”
Newcastle kick off their Championship campaign at Fulham on August 5, and Anita is looking for the team to start as they mean to go on at Craven Cottage.
“There is a very positive mood at the moment, and we just have to make sure that lasts,” said the Holland international.
“It is good for the team at the moment to have everybody behind us. That gives us a boost to go into the league, and hopefully we will be able to make a strong start and scare everybody a bit. We want to do our best and show everybody what we can do.
“If we do that, then we know we can win the league.”