Lewis tapped into City old boy network
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Jamal Lewis has revealed the level of homework he did before opting to leave Norwich City for Newcastle United – including tapping Tim Krul for the inside track on the Magpies.
Krul became one of the best keepers in the country during a decade on Tyneside, before reviving his injury-hit career at Carrow Road.
Lewis, quoted in the Newcastle Chronicle, spoke at length to his former team before sealing a big money move to the north-east.
“Not every move is a good move. You have to look at the pros and cons,” he said. “This place had so many pros. The club, the fans, the players, the ambitions. All of these came together. I was delighted to hear they were interested.
“Yes, I spoke to Tim Krul, Grant Hanley. They spoke about how big the club is, how big the expectation is and also the love you can get from the fans just by putting in the hard graft. To be fair, any person, any player that’s had anything to do with Newcastle, and anyone who’s even visited, has had nothing but great things to say about the city.
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“Tim’s told me a lot, a lot of stories that I’ve enjoyed listening to.
“He’s so fond of Newcastle, he loves coming here. Once he found out, he was delighted for me.
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“I spoke to Steve Harper, the goalkeeping coach at Northern Ireland. We spoke a few times about Newcastle.
“He’s another person who’s heavily associated with the club and who has amazing things to say.
“When that’s the general consensus, you’ve got to take that into mind. When that’s the general consensus, it’s a no-brainer.”
Lewis has already come in for criticism from some sections of Newcastle’s demanding support following his early displays, but the youngster is ready for the scrutiny after experiencing plenty of highs and lows at Norwich.
“I think that’s what a footballer wants,” he said.
“You want fans to be honest with you. If you know you haven’t had a great game, or the teams not performing well, you’ve got to deal with that.
“At the end of the day it’s a fans’ game. At the same time, when you’re winning, and doing well, they’ll tell you equally, or double, as much.
“I learnt a lot last season. Both individually and collectively. Very different to the previous season when we got promoted and you don’t feel you can lose. I always back myself to be one of the best players in my position. Especially in the Championship. But last season tested my mental strength and durability and how to deal with the disappointment as an individual.”