Anita wants greater Newcastle role

The 24-year-old is hoping to play a bigger part on Tyneside this season after limited opportunities in 2012-13 and is relishing the opening-day clash against Manchester City
Newcastle midfielder Vurnon Anita is disappointed with the number of games that he played for the club last season and hopes to nail down a regular first-team place in 2013-14.

The Netherlands international arrived on Tyneside last summer following a £6.7 million move from Ajax and, having made 17 Premier League starts for the club in his debut season, the 24-year-old hopes that having a good pre-season under his belt will help him start more this time out.

"I wish I could have played a bit more, of course, last season - but, then, so does every player," Anita told The Chronicle. "We all want to play in every game. I'm no different.

11/8 Newcastle are 11/8 with Bet365 to finish in the top half of the Premier League
"The pre-season has gone well - very well, in fact - and we've all worked hard so I think we are ready have a good season in the Premier League.

"I feel fit and strong. I had a little injury that kept me out the Blackpool game but I was back for St Mirren and now just want to get started and hopefully play a lot of games for Newcastle."

Newcastle kick off their Premier League campaign against Manchester City and Anita is looking forward to the contest.

"There are a few friendly games still to go but the Manchester City match is not too far away now," he remarked. "That is going to be a big test for us because they are a good side but, as footballers, this is the kind of game we should all want to be involved in.

"I like the fact we have such a big game to start. That will tell us where we are and, as I say, I think we are in a good place."