Javier Manquillo talks rivalry, Newcastle United first-team challenges and the arrival of Emil Krafth

Javier Manquillo has welcomed the arrival of Emil Krafth – with the defender believing competition for places can only be a good thing for Newcastle United.

By Liam Kennedy
Wednesday, 14 August, 2019, 16:45

The Magpies have three right-backs in their 25-man Premier League squad, with Manquillo and deadline day arrival Krafth joined by last season’s first-choice right-back DeAndre Yedlin.

And Manquillo believes the competition within the Magpies squad is a positive for head coach Steve Bruce.

“Every footballer wants to be playing regular - I work hard to be as ready as I can for the team and to help out,” he told NUFC TV.

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - AUGUST 11: Javier Manquillo of Newcastle United jumps over Bernd Leno of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Arsenal FC at St. James Park on August 11, 2019 in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

“I feel that with every year that passes you gain in experience. Every season is different and you learn something new.

“Whenever you have someone who makes you compete for the shirt, it's much better for the team because that means you need to be alert.

“Competition is always going to improve the squad.”

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Manquillo, who played the full 90 ahead of Sweden international Krafth against Arsenal, prefers to look forward, rather than backwards – and he’s keen for United to right a few wrongs when they head to Carrow Road this weekend.

“It was a very hard-fought, close-run game which was very even throughout the 90 minutes. We knew that the slightest incident could tip the balance in our favour - or indeed theirs,” he said.

“They were fortunate enough to have that chance fall to them, and they managed to get three points, but now we have to look forward to the next game and try hard to pick up three points.

“I reckon the Arsenal game is in the past now and we have to concentrate on the Norwich game, which is the one coming right up - and the most important one just now as a result.”

Manquillo added: “I believe that whether you are playing Norwich or Arsenal, the points you can earn have the same value. Every game is equally important.

“There's a world of difference between every game, no two matches are the same. In their own stadium, they’re going to give us a tough game, but as I said earlier we just have to focus on ourselves.”