17 July 2014 09:57
Having already opened his Newcastle United goalscoring account, Siem de Jong has targeted a goal in his first Premier League match.
De Jong scored in his first appearance for Newcastle on Tuesday, hitting the back of the net in his new club’s 2-1 friendly loss to Oldham Athletic and, although Alan Pardew’s men will start their Premier League campaign against champions Manchester City, the Dutch forward is not worried.
In his previous two fixtures against City, De Jong – while playing for former club Ajax – scored three goals in the UEFA Champions League and the 25-year-old hopes to continue that form on August 17 at St James’ Park.
“I played against Man City a couple of years ago in the Champions League and scored three goals in the two games,” he told The Northern Echo.
“So that’s not bad.
“I scored one goal at home when we won 3-1, and then two goals in Manchester when we drew 2-2. It’s nice to have done that but it’s going to be very different in the first game of the season and we’re all aware of that.”
In October 2012, De Jong struck the equaliser at the Amsterdam Arena just before half-time as Ajax came from behind to win 3-1, while a month later, the versatile attacker struck twice in the opening 17 minutes at Etihad Stadium before City claimed a 2-2 draw.
De Jong arrived at St James’ Park as an established professional, having won four Eredivisie titles with Ajax, including two as captain, and leaving the famous Dutch club with a record of 78 goals in 244 matches in all competitions.
Even so, the Netherlands international has found his first pre-season with a Premier League club as tougher than he is used to.
“Already, I have the feeling that everything is one or two seconds faster,” De Jong said.
“The runs we do here, we did them in Amsterdam too, but it just feels as though everything is one or two seconds faster over here, and I have to step up to that.
“The training also tends to be 15 or 20 minutes longer, and there’s one or two gym sessions more, so it just feels like everything is that little bit tougher, but that’s good. You feel like you’re really working.”