Emmanuel Rivière believes he has the strength of character to cope with the unique pressure of leading Newcastle to better times.
Rivière is the £6 million summer signing from Monaco that Alan Pardew hopes will follow in the exalted footsteps of Malcolm Macdonald and Alan Shearer.
"It is a big thing, being the forward for Newcastle," Rivière says. "People have told me about the tradition of being the centre-forward for Newcastle. But I can say I am ready. I am very touched by it. It means something.
"When I played with St Etienne I got the same history of the club. The fans would tell me what it meant. Of course you listen. You want to learn. You want to do well. You want the fans to believe in you.
"I scored five goals in seven games. It kept the club from relegation. My manager was happy. He gave me a chance. I repaid him. It was a nice time. The supporters matter. You have to work hard for them. The fans care for their club. It is so important to their lives." Rivière makes his debut against the champions, Manchester City, at St James' Park today. "It is 11 players versus 11 players," he says. "Anything is possible."
Wonga have launched a fans' mural, giving 5,000 people a chance to have their photo displayed inside St James' Park. Visit: wongafootball.com/nufc/fan-mural