Aarons: 'Hopefully I did enough to impress'
Written by Dan King
Rolando Aarons admitted that scoring his first goal in over a year was an "emotional" experience, despite Newcastle's Carabao Cup exit against Nottingham Forest.
The England under-20 international winger was sidelined for most of last season's Sky Bet Championship campaign through injury, and last found the net against Tottenham on the final day of 2015/16.
But he was handed his first start of the new term on Wednesday night and responded with an exciting display which was capped with a stunning goal on the stroke of half time.
That made the score 2-2 but despite creating several good opportunities in the second period, Rafa Benítez's side lost after Tyler Walker struck in extra time.
Aarons had left the field by then, suffering from cramp, but had already thrilled the majority of the 27,709 crowd with some excellent runs and a wonderful strike which saw him cut inside and fire a right-footed 22-yard effort beyond Jordan Smith.
He told nufc.co.uk: "I came into the game knowing that I'm not in the manager's immediate starting XI at the minute, but I have to do what I can do when I get the opportunities so hopefully I impressed him a bit tonight.
"That's what I try to do. It's the whole point in me playing football.
"I have to go out there and show that I can start every game for Newcastle. I love the club and I love being here, so hopefully you can see it.
"It's my first goal in over a year - obviously I've been injured inside the last 12 months - and I'm happy to score any goal. Even if it hit my hand and went in I'd still be celebrating.
"But it was quite emotional, just seeing the fans again, jumping around, because I hadn't seen that in a while.
"We needed something and I'm happy that I was able to contribute - but it's disappointing that we won't be in the next round.
"I thought we were the better team towards the end so yeah, it's disappointing but the only thing I'm thinking of is going again on Saturday.
"I'm still feeling good and I'm still ready. We've just got to focus on the next game now because we can't really dwell on this."
"It was quite emotional, just seeing the fans again, jumping around, because I hadn't seen that in a while."