Georginio Wijnaldum said he understands the importance of the upcoming Tyne-Wear derby with Sunderland.
The Newcastle United midfielder will enter Sunday’s contest in red-hot form, having scored four times in his side’s 6-2 win against Norwich City last time out.
The Netherlands international has experience playing in important local meetings, having featured for PSV Eindhoven against fellow Dutch heavyweights Ajax.
And ahead of the Premier League meeting at the Stadium of Light, Wijnaldum says he has already grasped the significance of the rivalry.
“When I walk down the street or go into the supermarket, Newcastle fans talk with me,” he said. “They talk directly about this game against Sunderland.
“I have already seen how much impact this game has for supporters. I see what they want from the players, we must try to win this game.”
Wijnaldum arrived at St James’ Park this close-season in a £14.5million deal and has enjoyed the backing of the fans despite the team’s disappointing start to the season.
“When it goes bad you know supporters will be angry at players who were bought for most money. But that was not the case here. They supported me,” he said.
“My team-mates and all the people here supported me. So I feel at home. That’s why I can give the performances like I do now. I want to repay them.
“What I will do now is enjoy the moment and next week I will focus on Sunderland.
“It’s not normal to score four goals in a game. I will try, but it will be hard. These are special moments in your career.”
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