Scott Parker is desperate to put his Chelsea nightmare behind him after clinching his £6.5million move to Newcastle.
The 24-year-old England international signed a five-year deal after passing a medical on Tyneside early this morning and admitted he cannot wait to pull on the black and white shirt after managing just 19 starts for the Stamford Bridge club since his Â£10million switch from Charlton in January last year.
"It was frustrating," said Parker, whose progress at Chelsea was hampered by a foot fracture. "I had a frustrating start where I was not really figuring a lot, and then obviously picked up an injury which stopped me playing for a little while, so I just cannot wait to start up.
"As a young player and as the professional as I am, I want to play football and you are not happy when you are not playing football. "I am a boy that wants to play football; as long as I am playing football, I am happy and everyone else is happy. That was my main reason. I need to play.
"I was there (Chelsea) a year-and-a-half and did not play a lot of football, so hopefully now it turns a little bit. I have a lot to prove. I am coming to Newcastle after a year, last year at Chelsea, which was pretty non-existent for me.
"After my injury, I did not really play a lot of games, so I am coming here, I want to work hard, I am going to work hard and I am going to show exactly what I can do.
"When I went to Chelsea, I had a driving ambition to win trophies, and I feel here at Newcastle, I can still achieve that and that was probably one of my main reasons.
"I went to Chelsea with no thoughts that I was going to be a regular there, and that is what I wanted to be, I wanted to establish myself there.
"I do not feel I am coming away from Chelsea having failed, I just feel that maybe I was restricted in my opportunities really.
"Obviously I did not have a lot of chances to really show what I can do. But I am here at Newcastle, I am absolutely over the moon and really just cannot wait to get involved."
Parker's move to St James' Park provided a welcome boost for the Magpies after a disappointing season which saw them finish 14th in the Barclays Premiership and fall short in both the FA and UEFA Cups.
There will be further signings as manager Graeme Souness looks to rebuild his squad, but the latest addition is convinced that the gloom of the last campaign will soon be forgotten.
"I think next year is going to be a big year for us," he said. "If we can build a good team spirit, which I am sure we can, and really get the lads all rallied up, we can give it a really good go.
"Last year, obviously Newcastle under-achieved. But in saying that, they got to the semi-finals of the FA Cup as well as being in Europe - that is what I mean about Newcastle, you are always going to be there or thereabouts.
"Last year was a blip and things can only get better for next year, and that is what I am looking forward to."
The Lambeth-born player will first attempt to force his way into the Newcastle team - although Souness plans to build his midfield around his latest acquisition - and then attempt to persuade England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson that he has a part to play in his bid for World Cup glory next summer.
"With the World Cup coming up next year, I look at the England side and the squad and I feel that there is a space there for me," he said. "Obviously, I need to play and I need to be playing well, but I believe in my ability and I believe if I am playing and playing well, there is a place."
Souness will be delighted if he manages that, but he will only do so by helping to provide a demanding public with what they crave after years of near-misses and heartache, and that, he believes, will be a motivating force.
"The word in the game is that this is a special and unique place," he said. "If you have got anything about you, you want to play in the atmosphere that we have here when we play our home games, it is as simple as that.
"You do not want to go into a stadium where people are sitting on their hands eating prawn sandwiches; you want to be in a stadium where they are up and at it and every decision that goes for them or goes against them, they are showing some sort of emotion.
"That is what St James' is all about, and if you are a player, that is where you want to play. Scott is the type of player our crowd will respond to because he wants to win, and you can never have enough of them around you."
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