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Newcastle United’s Anita ready for Euro chance

VURNON Anita is happy to stay versatile in a bid for a regular place with Newcastle United.

The 23-year-old started Sunday’s 1-1 draw against Liverpool at Anfield, but it was only Anita’s fifth Premier League start for the club since his summer move from Ajax.

And the Holland international – who can play at right-back, or in central midfield – is hoping to keep his place for tomorrow evening’s Europa League game away to Club Brugge.

“I’m happy that I started, and finished the game also,” Anita said.

“That’s good. It went well. I went to midfield, and then right-back at the end. I can play both positions – that’s no problem.”

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew has rotated his squad for the Europa League, but having been used sparingly in domestic league games over the last two months, Anita wants to start against the Belgian side at the Jan Breydel Stadium.

“For me, it’s good to play, as I haven’t played so many games,” added Anita.

“It’s good to have games in your legs, and if the coach needs me, I will play.

“We’ll see what happens.”

Newcastle lead Group D in the Europa League with three games left to play, and one win could be enough to confirm their place in the competition’s Round of 32.

Brugge sacked manager Georges Leekens after Sunday’s 1-0 home defeat to Zulte-Waregem.

However, Anita – who played in the Champions League for Ajax – is still wary of the team, who were only beaten at St James’s Park by one goal in a hard-fought game.

“We want to go through in the Europa League,” said Anita. “The opposition is very good, so we must keep on working hard to go through.

“It’s very close. The game against Brugge is important, and we must go there to win the game.”

Pardew’s players left Anfield frustrated that Newcastle hadn’t claimed all three points, with United having led through a spectacular goal from Yohan Cabaye late in the first half.

Luis Suarez levelled with an equally stunning effort midway through the second half.

On balance, Anita felt it was a good point given that Newcastle ended the match a man down after captain Fabricio Coloccini’s dismissal.

“We were pleased at the end,” he said. “We were a man down, and they kept on pressing us.

“After the goal (from Cabaye), we kept the ball. It’s a wonderful feeling if you keep the ball and play football.

“It was amazing (to play at Anfield) – it was a full stadium. The atmosphere was amazing.”

 
 
 

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