Atsu's Back On Track
Written by Tom Easterby
Christian Atsu has spoken of the changes he made that have helped to get his promising career back on track at Newcastle United.
The on-loan Chelsea winger is hoping to be involved in Tuesday night's EFL Cup last 16 clash with Preston North End at St. James' Park (7.45pm kick-off), having come off the bench in the 3-0 league win over Ipswich Town on Saturday.
Atsu struggled to make his mark during a loan spell with Bournemouth last season as injuries took their toll but, speaking to the official matchday programme, the Ghanaian international - who scored on his first start for United, at Rotherham earlier this month - explained how he's altered elements of his lifestyle in order to ensure his St. James' Park stay is a successful one.
"At Bournemouth, I had a lot of injuries that brought me setbacks in my football career. I left in January to Malaga, and when I went there I had another injury again. It was so frustrating, but I thought: 'I need to take good care of myself'," said the 24-year-old. "I saw that I have to be responsible for these kind of things.
"So I tried to change how I eat, my sleep and everything. I think I'm more professional, and more focussed on my body than before.
"Every time, when there is a problem, you try to figure out where it is coming from. I found out that sometimes it's me, and I need to take good care of myself because it's my body. My sleep, my diet, everything - I tried to change everything, and I think I'm getting better."
Atsu played Champions League football while at FC Porto, before joining Chelsea in 2013.
And the winger said the opportunity to make his mark at St. James' Park was too good an opportunity to resist, revealing that he bought into manager Rafa Benitez's "vision" for the Club upon his arrival on Tyneside.
"You can see that even though we are playing in the Championship, Newcastle is a big club," he said. "You can see that they have a vision. Rafa stayed because he had a vision - he believed the team can go up, and this is what I also believed as well.
"I wanted to join Newcastle, and I believe good things will come."
Supporters can read the full interview with Christian Atsu - and much more - in Saturday's matchday programme, priced at just £3 around the ground.
I wanted to join Newcastle, and I believe good things will come.