Vurnon Anita

By Tom Easterby


Newcastle United midfielder Vurnon Anita looked on the bright side after Saturday's goalless draw at Aston Villa got his side off the mark for the season.

United squandered a host of chances at Villa Park, with Remy Cabella, Daryl Janmaat, Mike Williamson and debutant Siem de Jong all going close to an elusive winner.

The Dutch midfielder, who kept things ticking over in the engine room until his 70th-minute withdrawal, preferred to highlight the gaining of a point rather than the loss of two.

He did, however, admit to being slightly frustrated at not being able to grab a first win of the new season.

"It's a little bit of both," mused the 25-year-old.

"We had a couple of chances to score, the last one with Siem, and we're disappointed that we didn't get the three points but, overall, we are happy with an away point.

"It's always good to get points, and this one was a point away from home, which is good. But we wanted to win, and we pushed for a win, but unfortunately we didn't get it and a point is a good result, I think.

"They (Aston Villa) broke very well and they were a little bit dangerous, but overall Tim (Krul) didn't have too much to do. We dominated the game.

"I think we played to our own strengths, and we played well last week too but didn't win. I think we did in this game as well, but we didn't score."

Anita started alongside Jack Colback in what was an unchanged Magpies' line-up against Paul Lambert's side.

The diminutive dynamo knows that, with increased competition for midfield places this campaign, it won't be easy to pin down a regular spot in the United team and performances must remain at a high level.

"It's good, of course, but I think everybody needs to be focused, keep on going, play well and to make it difficult for everybody and bring everybody's levels up," he said.