‘Difficult’ - Lewis Hall drops transfer bombshell and opens up about Newcastle United struggles

Newcastle United left-back Lewis HallNewcastle United left-back Lewis Hall
Newcastle United left-back Lewis Hall
Newcastle United supporters questioned why Lewis Hall was barely getting a kick under Eddie Howe earlier this season

Lewis Hall has admitted he found life “difficult” during his early days at Newcastle United.

Toon chiefs signed the highly-rated defender on loan from Chelsea last summer - a deal expected to become permanent at the end of the season. Hall had made just nine Premier League appearances but still convinced Newcastle to splash out £28million.

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But fans were left puzzled as to why Eddie Howe refused to play the 19-year-old - despite the club’s worst injury crisis in memory. Just one top-flight start in eight months led conspiracy theorists to run amok as to why Newcastle signed the youngster.

However, Hall - a boyhood Toon fan - has proven his worth since being given a recent run in the team. The left-back has started the last three games and, while he always had attacking prowess, his defensive game shows signs of improvement. 

By his admission, those early days were tough as he struggled to cope with Howe’s demanding training sessions and move up north. Hall told NUFC TV: “Looking back on it (time out the team), it’s made me a lot stronger mentally than before. When I first came, if I’m being honest, I’m not sure I was myself when on the pitch. 

“I wasn’t at the level I could’ve been at in training. That comes from travelling so far from home and living on your own. It was difficult. As training went on, I started to show signs of improvement. The gaffer and all the coaches were helping me. 

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“After a few months, I felt like I was developing a rhythm in training and then it was (the case of) patiently waiting for my opportunity. It’s (Howe training) incredibly difficult - a lot harder than I thought it would be. Tactically and technically, you have to be superb and know exactly what he (Howe) wants you to do. 

“It took me a while to adapt but I’m grateful for everything now. There’s a potential price tag at the end of the season. With me not playing, I could understand why fans, naturally, wondered what was going on. But for me, I’ve left that down to people behind the scenes. I want to help the team in whatever way I can.”

Hall stayed coy on whether his clause has been triggered before inadvertently suggesting he will be at Newcastle next season. Howe has already hinted that the obligation-to-buy clause - understood to involve where the Magpies finish - is nailed on to be met.

“I want to come back to pre-season sharp and, hopefully, next season, I can impact the team from the start,” Hall added. “I want to get as many minutes as I can to get to the very best level.

“I believe in myself and the gaffer has told me all the qualities I have. It’s about doing it consistently, with the right attitude, and always staying grounded.”

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