Yedlin Learning From Experienced Anita
Written by Tom Easterby
Newcastle United defender DeAndre Yedlin says that he's "learned a lot" from fellow right back Vurnon Anita.
USA international Yedlin kept his place ahead of Anita for Saturday's Sky Bet Championship clash with Preston North End, having impressed in the 6-0 win over the same opposition in the EFL Cup in midweek.
The 23-year-old then turned in another solid display in the 2-1 weekend victory at Deepdale, which kept Rafa Benitez's men at the division's summit.
And afterwards, Yedlin told nufc.co.uk that the competition with Anita is keeping him on his toes - and that he is enjoying being able to learn and develop alongside the former Ajax man.
"Obviously, it's always great to start, and at the end of the day I want to do whatever I can to help the team," he said.
"You're battling for a place in the team against a guy like Vurnon with so much experience, and I'm trying to learn as much as I can from him, so I'm sure that we'll keep switching starts.
"He's a guy that I've already learned a lot from, so I'm very pleased to be able to work with him on a day-in, day-out basis." Aleksandar Mitrovic's double earned United the points in Lancashire, though substitute Jermaine Beckford's late strike heralded a spell of pressure from Preston in which the hosts poured forward in search of a leveller.
But Newcastle remained resolute, and weathered the storm to record their seventh successive win in all competitions.
"Hats off to Preston - they made it very difficult for us, and they played a good game," said Yedlin.
"They're strong defensively and they played their game, with long balls and playing in behind us, and it was difficult to play against.
"You do what you've got to do, especially in this league. We had to graft and battle, and that's what we did today, and we came away with three points.
"I think we did very well in the end. There was a couple of dodgy plays that obviously you never want to happen when you're in that situation, but we held out and we worked hard, and got those three points that we needed."
Magpies boss Benitez made five changes to his team for the trip to Deepdale, having made seven for the previous fixture between the two sides just four days previously.
And Yedlin believes that the fine recent run of positive results is indicative of the "unbelievable" strength within the United squad.
"When one player is out, another one can step in and do a great job, and that's what I think makes our team so strong, especially this year," he said.
"The depth of our squad is unbelievable, and everybody's fighting for a position. Also, everybody wants to win, so even if you're not involved in the squad you're still supporting the guy who's playing your position, which I think you need in a successful team."
On his side's excellent form, Yedlin added: "We've just got to keep it going. We can't stop now, we can't get too excited about it, because it's a long season and anything can happen. We have to keep working hard in training and keep doing what we're doing on the pitch.
"I hope this run continues and I hope we keep winning games. But in this league, anything can happen, so we can't get too comfortable, we've just got to keep fighting."
"The fans have been unbelievable - the amount of fans that come on the road is incredible, and then obviously our home support is top of the league, so we're very fortunate to have the fans that we have. As a whole club, we're doing all right now, and we just need to keep it going."
He's a guy that I've already learned a lot from, so I'm very pleased to be able to work with him on a day-in, day-out basis.