Newcastle United’s Anita is getting up to speed

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VURNON Anita insists he’ll soon be up to speed in the Premier League.

Anita came off the bench in Newcastle United’s 1-0 home defeat to West Ham United on Sunday.

Versatile Anita joined the club from Ajax in the summer in a £6m deal. And it’s taken the 23-year-old – who replaced the injury Jonas Gutierrez alongside Yohan Cabaye in midfield against Sam Allardyce’s side – time to adjust to the pace and power of the English top flight.

West Ham’s Mohamed Diame dominated the central areas, and manager Alan Pardew admitted after the game that the suspended Cheik Tiote’s aggression was badly missed.

Anita admits adapting to the Premier League is huge challenge after a career, up to the summer, spent in his native Holland, where the pace of the game is slower, and where players enjoy more time on the ball.

“It’s very different – the play goes up and down, up and down,” Anita said. “It’s different. You feel it in your legs – you get tired more quickly than in Holland.

“You must work hard in training, and if you play, you must give everything.

“It’s great. It’s the biggest league in the world, so I’m happy to play in it. I have to adapt quick, and make it my own.”

Anita often found himself on the bench in the early part of the campaign, but the Holland international – who can also play at right-back – has featured more in recent weeks.

Meanwhile, Tiote will be back for Saturday’s home game against Swansea City, the midfielder having now served a three-game ban for his dismissal against Sunderland last month.

H Romain Amalfitano and Xisco suffered injuries playing for Newcastle reserves last night.

The pair both hobbled out of the club’s 2-1 home defeat to Manchester United at Whitley Park.

Amalfitano picked up an ankle problem, while Xisco left the field with a knock.

Manchester United went ahead through Tom Thorpe but Connor Newton levelled from close range on the hour mark.

Sub Tom Lawrence won the game for the visitors in the 66th minute.