INJURED star Siem de Jong is confident he can ‘make a big difference’ to the Newcastle United team - once he gets himself fit.
The Dutchman has missed the majority of the season with a combination of problems, the latest being a collapsed lung.
The position behind the striker is usually free, which is interesting.Siem de Jong
De Jong is set to return to full training with the Magpies in two weeks, though a return to the first team before the season is out remains unlikely.
However, the 26-year-old has used his time out to good use, watching how Newcastle play and assessing the Premier League.
And he says that once he is fit, he believes his style of play – in the No10 role often operated by Moussa Sissoko – can boost the Toon attack.
“I think it’s a really good position for me and I’ve seen a lot of games in England now,” said De Jong.
“A lot of teams play with two strikers, or one striker and two wingers.
“The position behind the striker is usually free, which is interesting. We’ve tried to play with it but Moussa is more of a player who goes to the outside and runs with the ball more.
“I’m more of a player who holds the ball and tries to find the holes in between. I’ve seen a lot of games where there is space in between the holes and I think: ‘I could have made a big difference there!’
“I still think it’s a great role for me but I have to earn it.”
When De Jong does return to the side, it will be under a different manager to the last time he played.
His last appearance was on August 31 against Crystal Palace, when Alan Pardew was still in the dugout, before John Carver took over in the head coach role for the second half of the campaign.
De Jong says it doesn’t matter who is in charge - as long as he is fully fit.
“It has been a bit of a crazy season, partly because of the manager leaving, which I did not expect,” he said.
“Next season it could be another manager or the manager we have now, you just do not know.
“It does not really matter too much who is coach – I just have to get fit. I just want to be able to play and get the buzz of playing again.”