Willock ‘loving every minute’ at Newcastle following debut goal

Joe Willock admits he is ‘loving every minute’ at Newcastle after marking his debut with a goal against Southampton last weekend.

Willock signed for Newcastle on deadline day after agreeing a loan move from Arsenal until the end of the season, the 21-year-old keen to secure regular first-team football in the Premier League after finding his opportunities restricted at the Emirates.

The England U21 international got off to a dream start after netting the opener in the club’s 3-2 win over Southampton last weekend and the midfielder admits he was delighted with his first performance since moving to St James’ Park.

“It was like a weight lifted off my shoulders when the [final] whistle went,” Willock told Sky Sports.

“I wanted to make a good start, I wanted to score, I wanted to get the three points and when the whistle went, I knew I’d done that.

“It’s a starting point for me to push on, I wanted to set a good foundation and I was so happy when he blew the whistle and I’ve set that foundation. Now I want to push on and hopefully build on it.

“When I scored, it was a brilliant feeling. I wish the fans were there for me to do a knee slide and run in front of the crowd but I couldn’t do it so I celebrated with the team.

“I’m here to help the team in any which way they want me to. When I came in, I wanted to help the team have that bit of pace in midfield, travel from one box to the other quicker and get it to the front men quicker, and arrive in the box and score goals like I did, so I feel I can add that to the team and hopefully it continues.

“He (Steve Bruce) said to me, ‘I know that’s your quality, I know that’s what you love to do, I give you the freedom to go, and don’t worry, there are players behind you that can back you up.'”

Willock has opened up on his decision to leave Arsenal and says he knew quickly that he had made the right decision, outlining his desire to make an impact with Newcastle and admitting he is ‘loving every minute’ of his loan spell so far.

“When I decided to come here I had a sense of peace, I didn’t ever feel like it was going to be the wrong one (decision). When I came here, everyone was so welcoming,” he added.

“My first day everyone was speaking to me, I was speaking to the manager, that was when I knew it was the right decision and to score on my debut and to get three points is an even bigger plus.

“I’m trying to focus on what I have to do now, focus on Newcastle United. I’m not really looking at Arsenal at the moment.

“I’m here to prove to Newcastle United that I can play every week and affect the games and win games for them. I’m not really looking at Arsenal, when that time comes for me to make a decision to go back or not that will come but right now, I’m focused on Newcastle and I’m loving every minute that I’m here.”

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