James Tavernier

By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Club Reporter

 

James Tavernier hopes his appearance at Reading on Saturday is just the start of a long and successful Premier League career.

The 20-year-old had already represented Newcastle in the League Cup and Europa League before the Magpies travelled to the Madejski Stadium at the weekend.

And Academy graduate Tavernier stepped off the bench in Berkshire to make his top flight debut, as United twice fought from behind to salvage a 2-2 draw.

Injuires have given the youngster his chance to stake a claim this season, and whether deployed at left-back or right-back, Tavernier has already shown he is up to the task and ready to grasp the opportunities with both hands.

"It was exciting to come on and make my Premier League debut, but I was disappointed that we conceded two goals during my time on the pitch," a philosophical Tavernier told nufc.co.uk.

"As a defender you want to keep a clean sheet, so to not manage that is frustrating, but on a personal level in terms of my debut it was a nice moment.

"My ambition has always been to play in the Premier League and to be a top player in my position.

"This is just the start of that and hopefully I can get to that stage.

"I've got to keep working hard at the training ground and take every opportunity that comes my way.

"I'm progressing slowly, but hopefully I'm getting there.

"We've got some injuries at the moment but that is football and it's given me my chance. It's now up to me to come through, show the gaffer what I'm capable of and pay him back with good performances."

Tavernier was a 56th-minute substitute for Steven Taylor at Reading, and it was an eventful top flight bow for the Yorkshire-born starlet, with all four goals coming following his introduction. 

He explained the Magpies' dressing room was downhearted following the final whistle, believing they should have taken home a maxiumum haul from the Royals.

"I'd have to say it was two points dropped rather than one gained," he said.

"We weren't at our best, but still had chances and thankfully Demba got us a result in the end.

"It was a tough game but everyone was disappointed. We want to win whenever we step out on the pitch and really believed we could do that Reading."

To buy a Newcastle shirt with Tavernier's name and number on the back, click here