The 21-year-old had thought he had blown his chance for a professional career after off the field misdemeanors led him close to the exit at St. James’ Park.
But after making his comeback on Thursday night, the former England Under-19 international has thanked the club and its fans for their loyalty during a turbulent time that included accusations of assault and a conviction for drunk and disorderly behaviour.
“There have been quite a few loyal supporters who have been backing me and giving me and the rest of the squad support.
“So I have to give a shout out to all of them, it is always good to pay them back. Some see me and think ‘why is he getting a chance here – he does not deserve it’.
|TOON IN TROUBLE|
|15/2||Fulham are 15/2 with bet365 to beat Newcastle 2-1 at Craven Cottage on Monday night|
“Obviously, though I have to redeem myself and take my chance. The gaffer has been very good with me.
“He told me he was watching me but not to take anything for granted. He wants me to keep up the good work.”
The striker admits he needed to get his career back on track and to do that he couldn’t continue to live the life he was off the field and now hopes to rebuild his career.
He added: “I just told myself I am a professional footballer. I could not do what I was doing any more.
“If you do everything right and you train well then you cannot be ignored. The gaffer has acknowledged the fact I have been coming in on time and done things right. He has rewarded me.”
“There is still a lot to learn. I don’t know it all – I am only 21. I know I must do extra training, get my head down and watch others and be involved in the first team.