MEHDI Abeid is desperate to make his Premier League debut after being fast-tracked into Newcastle United’s first team.
Abeid made his first appearance for the club in Tuesday night’s dramatic 4-3 Carling Cup win over Nottingham Forest.
The 19-year-old was signed this summer from French club Lens as one for the future, but the versatile midfielder was quickly promoted to the first-team squad after impressing in pre-season training.
And Abeid was handed a start by manager Alan Pardew at the City Ground, with first-choice midfielders Yohan Cabaye and Cheik Tiote having been left behind on Tyneside.
Abeid – who is eligible to play for the country of his birth, Algeria, as well as France – quickly settled well into a role in front of United’s back four on a wet night in the Midlands.
Now, having played his part in the club’s progression to the competition’s fourth round, Abeid’s hoping to be involved on Saturday when fourth-placed Newcastle take on Blackburn Rovers at St James’s Park looking to consolidate their lofty position in the league.
“I hope to play, like everybody here,” Abeid said.
“If I don’t it’s no problem, I’ll wait – I’m really patient. It’s my dream to play at St James’s Park – it’s a really good stadium – and I hope to play well this season.”
Abeid, along with fit-again Hatem Ben Arfa and his fellow summer recruit Sylvain Marveaux, won praise from Pardew after the game, which was decided by an extra-time header from Fabricio Coloccini.
He only returned to training on the eve of the match after being injured in a behind-closed-doors reserves fixture against Sunderland earlier this month.
But if Abeid was short of match fitness, it didn’t show over a gruelling 120 minutes against an experienced Forest side.
Playing alongside Danny Guthrie, Abeid was composed in possession, and dogged and determined without the ball, in a largely defensive role.
“I did nothing for one and a half weeks, as I was injured, but I think I had a good game,” he said.
“It was a very good game. It was my first game with the first team, and there were a lot of goals.
“It was a unique moment, and I really enjoyed the game. I thought I did well, but I know I can do better. I hope to be better for next week.
“It was a really big night for me. I really enjoyed the moment, and I hope to play again, again and again with the first team – it’s my dream. I’m really, really happy.”
Abeid and his team-mates were backed by more than 2,000 vociferous travelling fans at the City Ground.
“The fans are really good supporters,” Abeid went on. “There were 2,000, and they shouted so much.”