Seattle native and United States international DeAndre Yedlin returned to Newcastle United’s lineup making his season debut on Saturday as the Magpies beat Stoke 2-1. The 24 year-old right-back played the full 90 in the win. According to Yedlin the team is clicking, just like last season when they won promotion from the Championship which, isn’t an easy task.
“Our team spirit is great right now, and I think that’s a continuation of last year,” he told nufc.co.uk. “If we can continue that and stick together, then I think we’ll do great this year.
- DeAndre Yedlin; Source: Newcastle United
In talking with the Magpies website he mentioned that Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez stressed to them that team spirit would be the key to getting the fans behind them to fuel the team out on the pitch.
“It’s one of the things the gaffer talked about before the game – we have to show team spirit and get the fans behind us. And they were behind us the whole game, credit to them. Even when (Stoke) tied it up, we kept fighting and the fans got louder and louder, and eventually we got the winning goal.
It’s been a long haul for Yedlin, the last time he had touched the pitch was back in July where he injured his hamstring in the first half of a pre-season friendly with German side Mainz 05. In that time he’s missed the opening of the Premier League season and the last two World Cup Qualifiers. That’s almost three months on the shelf for the young right-back.
“Obviously I injured my hamstring early in pre-season, came back for a little bit and injured it again. The thing with a hamstring injury, or any muscular injury in your leg, is that you have to be careful – especially the type of player I am,” he said. “It’s a big asset to me. Sometimes, it can be a little bit scary to go out and sprint and jump and do those athletic sorts of things, but I thought I was fine today. I think the medical staff have done a great job with me, so credit to them for getting me back fit and healthy. I’m looking to push forward from here.
If he continues getting minutes he should be ready for the last two World Cup Qualifiers coming up in October. He’s been missed on the national team and would be a welcome relief from Graham Zusi.