Rolando Aarons is desperate to be back on the field – as he hates watching from the sidelines.
Aarons was superb in Wednesday night’s Carabao Cup defeat to Nottingham Forest.
The winger scored stunning first-half goal and set up another for Aleksandar Mitrovic in the 3-2 extra-time defeat.
It was injury-hit Aarons’ first competitive appearance since August last year.
Now fully fit, the 21-year-old is looking to make up for lost time.
“It was quite emotional, really,” said Aarons.
It was quite emotional, really. I haven’t played a game in 12 months competitively, and I love score here and I love scoring goals. It was good.Rolando Aarons
“I haven’t played a game in 12 months competitively, and I love score here and I love scoring goals. It was good.
“I’m quite an instinctive player, so anything I do on the pitch, I don’t think about it.
“My friend sent me the goal, and it looked decent.
“It’s what I’m here to do. It’s my job to score goals and create goals. I’m happy I got to do both.
“I’m happy with the 70 minutes or so that I played.
“I got a goal and an assist, so I’m happy (with that), but I’m very disappointed that we weren’t able to beat them.”
The game was decided by a 98th-minute strike from Tyler Walker.
“We’re disappointed,” said Aarons.
“We’re out of the cup. I just felt we could have won the game in the end.”
Aarons – who left the field with cramp in the second half – could make Rafa Benitez’s squad for tomorrow’s home Premier League game against West Ham United.
The England Under-21 international made his debut three years ago.
However, Aarons’ United career has been interrupted by a series of injuries.
And that’s why he was determined to seize his chance against Forest in the second-round cup tie.
“I hate watching football, especially when it’s Newcastle, as I want to get out there and play,” said Aarons.
“I’ve been itching to get on. I’m glad the gaffer gave me this opportunity. Hopefully, I impressed him.”
On his 77th-minute withdrawal, he added: “It was just cramp. I’m fine.”
Benitez said after the match that Aarons’ performance was one positive to take from the game.
Newcastle’s manager made 10 changes for the game.
And for many, it was their first competitive action of the season.
“I thought we did all right,” said Aarons.
“A lot of us hadn’t played together. It was our first game of the season.
“You could kind of tell it was our first game. Overall, I thought we were all right.”
Aarons has cautioned against an “over-reaction” to the defeat, which followed Premier League losses to Huddersfield Town and Tottenham Hotspur.
“We’re only three games in,” he said. “It’s not the end of the world.
“We’re still working hard behind the scenes.”
“That’s why I say ‘don’t over-react’. We have got quality here, but we’re just missing a little something at the minute.
“I don’t know what it is, but I’m sure we’ll be all right.”
Aarons maintains that the mood behind the scenes is good.
“The boys are all right,” he said. “We got on with each other and we work hard in training.
“I don’t think we’re too down. Maybe there’s stuff going on that I don’t know about, but in the changing room we got on with each other and we’re working hard.”
West Ham have also had a winless start to their league campaign, and Slaven Bilic is under pressure at the London Stadium.
Aarons, for his part, believes a win will radically change the outlook on Tyneside, where there is unease over the club’s recruitment.
“I wouldn’t say it’s a huge game, because we’re still three games into the season,” said Aarons.
“Every game becomes bigger when we haven’t picked up a result. I’m sure we’ll do well on Saturday.”
On Newcastle’s start to the season, he added: “It’s only two games.
“I think everyone’s over-reacting a bit. If we win on Saturday, everyone forgets about the last two games.
“I think we just need to dig deep and get a result.”
Meanwhile, United goalkeeper Freddie Woodman has been called up by England’s Under-21s for European Championship qualifiers against Holland and Latvia early next month.
The 20-year-old – who had a loan spell at Kilmarnock last season – was on the bench against Forest.