Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Winning Strike the First of Many, Vows Goal Hero Atsu

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Winning Strike the First of Many, Vows Goal Hero Atsu

Article excerpt

CHRISTIAN Atsu believes he has grasped his Newcastle United opportunity with a "great goal" - but has promised more will follow.

The 24-year-old marked his full Magpies debut by scoring a sublime solo goal at The New York Stadium, a strike which ultimately proved to be the winner during Newcastle's slender 1-0 victory over Rotherham United.

In the 41st minute, Atsu received the ball from Jonjo Shelvey out on the right and faked to go to the byline before cutting back on to his favoured left foot and curling a delicious shot into the far corner of the net.

The winger - who is on a seasonlong loan from Chelsea which contains an option to make the move permanent if the Magpies secure promotion - hopes to continue producing such exciting moments from out on the wing.

The Ghanaian explained: "That's what I want to do - I want to be on the right side and when I cut to my left foot I can shoot.

"It was a great goal - I wanted to score and I scored."

Rafa Benitez made the surprise decision to rest Matt Ritchie to hand Atsu his first Magpies start and the winger has revealed he only found out he was playing just 90 minutes before kick-off.

"It was today but I was ready," Atsu replied when asked when he discovered he was starting.

"It was only at the last minute I found out I was going to play.

"I'm very happy to be on the scoresheet but I'm most happy that we won.

"For me, that is the most important thing.

"I was very happy to start for Newcastle.

"I'm hoping and working hard in training.

"We have a lot of competition in this team so when you have the opportunity I think you have to take it.

"Every day you have to keep working hard.

"I think it's very difficult to win here at Rotherham - it's not easy.

"They were good at set-pieces but we defended really well under pressure.

"Sometimes a goal can make a difference and when we scored we were much more calm. It was very important."

The 42-cap international now heads off to represent Ghana during their first World Cup qualifier against Uganda on Friday before a friendly against South Africa four days later - and he is full of confidence. …

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