The 'embarrassing' Sunderland moment that changed DeAndre Yedlin's career

DeAndre Yedlin
DeAndre Yedlin
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DeAndre Yedlin has lifted the lid on the "embarrassing" moment at Sunderland which set him on the path to success at Newcastle United.

Yedlin, signed from Tottenham Hotspur last year, was a key player in Rafa Benitez's Championship-winning side this season.

The 23-year-old spent last term on loan at Sunderland, where he helped Sam Allardyce's side stay in the Premier League.

READ MORE: DeAndre Yedlin explains his decision to join Newcastle after a season at Sunderland

And Yedlin has opened up about a pivotal moment in his career.

In December 2015, the defender was taken off in the 19th minute in Sunderland's home game against Watford.

Newcastle's players lift the Championship trophy (Pic: Robbie Stephenson/Sky Bet)

Newcastle's players lift the Championship trophy (Pic: Robbie Stephenson/Sky Bet)

Yedlin told Sports Ilustrated: “That had never happened to me in my life.

"It was eye-opening. It was embarrassing. I didn't understand it. I needed to make the best out of (the loan).

"I was really trying to figure out, what is my problem? What can I do to better myself? I figured out that mentally, I needed to get stronger. In England, especially, mentally if you're not strong it can eat you up.

"There's the media, all the negativity surrounding footballers. If you're not mentally strong, it can eat you. I wasn't sure where to start, so I went on Amazon and typed in books about success.”

DeAndre Yedlin

DeAndre Yedlin

Yedlin ordered "Maximum Achievement" by Brian Tracy.

“I'm not a big reader," said the United States international. "It was kind of an odd thing.

“But that book will be one of the most important things I ever read. I have such a positive mindset now. One of the biggest things it did was help me set goals. It's all things I sort of knew before, but I kind of had to see (in print).

“I was kind of blaming other things and wasn't realising it. The book said nobody can make you feel a certain way. You always have control … I had to take responsibility for myself.”

Yedlin finished the season strongly and his agent got a call from Newcastle last summer.

“Kind of in the middle of July, (my agent) said there was Newcastle interest,” he said. “But at first, I didn't want to go down a league.

“It was a risk. It was a very, very tough choice. But I made it and stuck with it. I kind of took it on myself. Obviously, I spoke with different people. But I tried not to let their opinions weigh on my decision.

"I sat down with myself. ’What do you want to do? What are the pros and cons?'”

Yedlin also revealed the advice former United striker Obafemi Martins gave him at Seattle Sounders.

“He told me in everybody's career, there's going to be at least one point that you're just going to hit a wall,” said Yedlin.

“Whether it's an injury, whether you're just stressed out – nothing's going right. There's going to be some sort of bad time in your career.”