Defender has high hopes for Newcastle United ahead of Premier League return

Newcastle United's DeAndre Yedlin.
Newcastle United's DeAndre Yedlin.

DeAndre Yedlin has high hopes for Newcastle United’s Premier League campaign.

Rafa Benitez’s Championship-winning side will start preparations for their return to the division on Monday.

We’ll want to do great in that league, and we’ll have a team that can do well in that league.

DeAndre Yedlin

And Yedlin insists that Newcastle won’t be looking to make up the numbers in their first season back in the top flight.

The defender said: “I think there was an expectation this year to go up, and I think anything less than that would have been a failure. We’ve done that.

“It’ll be the same next year. We’ll want to do great in that league, and we’ll have a team that can do well in that league.

“We’ll all be pushing. We’ll be ready for it.”

Yedlin was not called up by the United States for this month’s CONCACAF Gold Cup fixtures, which start next weekend.

And that means the right-back, signed from Tottenham Hotspur last summer, will be able to play a full part in Newcastle’s pre-season campaign.

Yedlin – who had a bruising first season at United – has had a welcome break ahead of the new campaign.

Reflecting on the 46-game Championship season, Yedlin said: “Physically, this league is one of the hardest in the world.

“Every game is such a physical battle. I think we fought through well.”

United States coach Bruce Arena feels Yedlin is a better player for his year outside of the Premier League, despite opting agains selecting him for the Gold Cup.

“DeAndre Yedlin is an improved player,” said Arena.

“He is still a young player. He has got a way to go, but athletically he’s very good.Now he has to learn to be a player who just doesn’t count on the fact that he’s fast.

“He has got to be a little better mentally on the field.

“His year at Newcastle has been good for him.”

Meanwhile, Newcastle will enter the revamped Checkatrade Trophy this season.

United are one of 16 clubs from the Premier League and Championship whose Under-21 teams will compete against League One and Two sides.

Newcastle opted against entering the controversial competition, which was won by Coventry City last season.

The group stage draw, which will be regionalised, will take place next month. The first round of fixtures are scheduled to take place on the week starting August 28.