Debuchy driven by Newcastle challenge

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MATHIEU Debuchy says he has no regrets about joining Newcastle United – despite being plunged into a relegation battle after his move.

Debuchy signed in January from French club Lille.

And the 27-year-old quickly established himself as Alan Pardew’s first-choice right-back.

Debuchy had to adapt quickly to the demands of English football as the club battled to stay in the Premier League.

The France international might not have envisaged such a nervy end to the season when he chose to join Newcastle.

But Debuchy maintains he enjoyed the challenge of adapting to the Premier League – and keeping the club in the top flight.

“I have really enjoyed the first four, five or whatever months I’ve had here,” Debuchy said.

“It’s gone really well. The Premier League is a very difficult league to play in, but by the same token it’s an interesting one as well.

“Why is the league difficult? Every match is difficult, and I do mean every one.

“You have some of the best players in the world, so the level in all games is of a really high standard.

“But that is a challenge that I wanted when I decided to join Newcastle.”

Pardew’s side secured their Premier League status with a game to spare in the end, and finished the season in 16th place after a 1-0 home defeat to Arsenal on Sunday.

“I thought it was a decent performance to end the season with,” said Debuchy, who wasn’t registered for the club’s Europa League squad.

“We did OK, and it’s just a pity we conceded the goal when we did.” It had been hoped that United would again challenge for a Champions League place, having finished fifth last season.

Debuchy – who forged a close friendship with Newcastle midfielder Yohan Cabaye during their time together at Lille – admits the side’s domestic campaign simply wasn’t good enough.

And he insists there is a “determination” among the players to right the wrongs off the past nine months when they report back for pre-season training in July.

“We want to do a lot better,” said Debuchy, who has been selected for France’s summer internationals in South America against Uruguay and Brazil along with Cabaye.

“There is a determination within the squad to improve next season.

“It’s not been good enough for a team such as Newcastle United to do what he did in the last campaign, and everyone knows that. We will do better next time.”