Newcastle's Kuqi Coup
Written by Newcastle Utd
New signing Shefki Kuqi talks to nufc.co.uk on his first day of training, following his switch to St. James' Park
By Anthony Marshall
Shefki Kuqi admits he dropped everything for the chance to join Newcastle.
Having cancelled his contract with Championship outfit Swansea at the end of last month due to a lack of game time, the former Finland international striker was weighing up a series of offers elsewhere for his next club in a nomadic career.
But as soon as Kuqi got wind of Magpies boss Alan Pardew's interest, there was only one place the 34-year-old wanted to go.
"Not just for me, but for any footballer it is a dream club to play for," he told nufc.co.uk on Thursday morning before his first day's training.
"It all came about quite quickly. As people know, I cancelled my contract with Swansea and had some other options.
"But then I heard this might be an opportunity, so as soon as I heard that I wanted everything else to just get pushed aside and wait for what was going to happen with this. And everything happened so quickly.
"Yesterday my sat nav took me a little bit the wrong way, so it took me quite a while to drive here from Swansea. Normally if that happens to me - if I get lost or miss a turning - I get very annoyed, but yesterday I was really cool and calm because I knew I was coming here.
"You just need to look at the stadium and the crowd, and that tells you everything. It's got everything that goes with a big club."
Targetman Kuqi has been brought in to St. James' Park on a short-term deal to provide an alternative striking option, with Shola Ameobi currently recovering from a fractured cheekbone.
The big forward's fitness is up to scratch, having been allowed to continue training with the Swans over the past couple of weeks. And while he knows he may have to be patient for a chance, Kuqi is keen to show the Geordie faithful exactly what he can do.
"It's clear for me and the manager, and I hope everybody else gets the same message," said the club's new number 42.
"I've come here to help the club as much as I can. I've played in the Premier League before and had good spells there with Blackburn and Fulham, so it's a league I know all about.
"Over however many games I play I'm not going to promise anything, but I will give 110 per cent every minute I play.
"As a player you just need one split second. Maybe as a centre-forward you get in the team and in that split second you get a goal which changes everything. I have to work hard and if an opportunity comes along then I want to be ready."