LUUK de Jong’s admits he must quickly get himself up to speed – and on the scoresheet – if he is to earn himself a permanent move to Newcastle United.
The on-loan striker made his debut in the club’s 3-0 home defeat to Sunderland on Saturday.
De Jong, United’s only transfer-window acquisition, came off the bench for the second-half.
However, the 23-year-old understandably lacked sharpness in front of goal, having been on the fringes at Borussia Monchengladbach in the first half of the campaign.
And the challenge for the Holland international is to quickly rediscover the form which led to his big-money move to the Bundesliga from Dutch club FC Twente 18 months ago.
“I’m really happy to be here playing for such a great club,” de Jong told SportMail. “Hopefully, I’ll play for the club for a long time and in the summer I can stay.
“That’s my goal, of course. We’ll see what happens.
“I’m happy to play again. Hopefully, we’ll go on, and my goals will come. I’ll have to keep on working.”
De Jong, a long-standing target for Newcastle, is now focused on Saturday’s game at Chelsea.
United manager Alan Pardew is looking to arrange a full-scale practice match this week for the benefit of de Jong, who is confident he can adjust to the demands of the Premier League in time to make a significant.
“As a striker, it’s disappointing when you don’t score,” said de Jong. “When I get more matches and get a good feeling, I’m sure my goals will come.”
The derby defeat – the club’s third successive loss to Sunderland – left Newcastle’s fans demoralised ahead of the final few months of a once-promising Premier League.
And de Jong insists the players were also hurting in the aftermath of one of United’s worst-ever home performances against Sunderland.
“The atmosphere before the game was so huge and that makes it even more disappointing to lose,” he said. “It’s just so frustrating.
“Before the match we talked to each other about how important this is.
“When I watched the game against Norwich (which ended 0-0), I thought we played really good.
“It was disappointing and frustrating. It was such a big game. We wanted to win it badly.”