Siem de Jong gives promising assessment of his match fitness

St James Park

The Newcastle midfielder endured a tough debut season in England.

De Jong spent the majority of last season on the sidelines as he suffered a number of injuries, but he has told the Chronicle that he is raring to go for the 2015/16 campaign.

The Dutch playmaker said: “I feel strong. I just need to play games. It’s been a long while since I’ve played a full game. “I’ve trained a lot, especially in the first half of last season when I had the injury. Just before the end of the season I was getting stronger but I just wasn’t strong enough to play the whole game.

“I didn’t think it was wise to play too much at the end of the season. It was important to get a new pre-season in. I’m getting stronger every day.”

De Jong is certainly set to play a bigger role for the Magpies this year than he did last time around, and it is like the attacking midfielder is a new signing for the club.

He will benefit from playing in a system designed to keep the ball on the floor, and it could be that de Jong develops into a key player under Steve McClaren.

However, he will be hoping that he does not suffer in the way he did last season, when he managed just five first team appearances due to a muscle injury - and then a collapsed lung.

He has already moved one step closer to matching that tally, having featured for nine minutes in the opening game of the season, and de Jong will be looking to move into a starting role this weekend, when the Magpies play Swansea City.

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