Newcastle Utd’s Anita won’t get caught napping by Schalke

Vurnon Anita in action for Newcastle United against Oldham Athletic. Picture by FRANK REID
Vurnon Anita in action for Newcastle United against Oldham Athletic. Picture by FRANK REID
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VURNON Anita has had a few sleepless nights over the past fortnight - but the midfielder’s confident Newcastle United won’t be caught napping in Germany.

Anita readily admits he struggled with jet leg during and after the club’s tour of New Zealand.

The 25-year-old came off the bench in the midweek win over Sheffield Wednesday.

Newcastle’s visit to Hillsborough came just two days after the players had got off their flight from New Zealand, where there is an 11-hour time difference.

Versatile Anita will be involved against Malaga this afternoon in the club’s Schalke 04 Cup game in Gelsenkirchen, when Alan Pardew’s side will look to claim a fourth successive pre-season victory.

“I didn’t sleep good,” Anita said.

“I’m getting used to it again. Hopefully, for the weekend it’s OK.

“We’ve got a couple of good games, and I’m looking forward to it. Everything is good.”

The Malaga game is followed by a fixture against host club Schalke tomorrow, and the two games, to be played at the 62,000-capacity Veltins Arena, are the club’s toughest yet this season.

A youthful United side survived a spell of intense first-half pressure from Wednesday at Hillsborough before taking control of the game after the break, and Anita felt the team acquitted themselves well given the circumstances.

“A lot of players felt the jet lag and the time difference, but we had to play,” said Anita.

“They had a good team with a lot of energy, but I think we did well.”