VURNON Anita admits the Premier League is a tough school, but the Dutchman is starting to get up to speed.
While the midfielder does not have fond memories of Newcastle United’s performances in the second half of 2012, his own steadily improved after moving to Tyneside from Ajax in the summer.
“I am starting to play well and I am hoping to carry on playing better to help the team,” said Anita, who is due to make his FA Cup debut at Brighton and Hove Albion today.
“I am getting used to the pace in English football. When I first came it was very fast but I am getting used to it now and I think it is more normal for me now. It takes a while.
“It is very different from the Dutch league but I think I have adapted quite easily and quickly and that’s good for me and the team.
“I want to keep developing this season, but it is a tough league to learn in.”
Tougher still when the team which you have joined finds itself at the wrong end of the table.
“It is now a battle at the bottom and we must go into every game desperate to win as we are not in a good situation,” he added.
“It is only through hard work that we can change this and I am sure we will be okay.
“We are playing well but we are still not winning anything like enough games and so we have to do everything we can to change that.
“It is a New Year, so hopefully this New Year will be better than the end of 2012, which was not good enough.”
While most of the Newcastle squad will be familiar with today’s opponents having faced them less than a year ago, Anita admits they are an unknown quantity to him.
“We will have a players’ meeting before the game with the manager and I will get an idea about what Brighton are like then,” he explained. “It is a route to Wembley. It is a huge stadium and all players want to play at Wembley.
“The fastest way for Newcastle to win something is in the Cup so we are definitely going there to win and to get through to the next round.”