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Sports News of Thursday, 30 August 2018

Source: Goal.com

Christian Atsu eyes penalty duties at Newcastle United

Ghana midfielder Christian Atsu has revealed his ambition to become one of Newcastle United's first choice penalty takers.

The 26-year-old netted two goals last season but hopes to improve on that through penalty duties.

Kenedy, who is Newcastle's first-choice penalty taker, missed a last gasp opportunity to score from the spot against Cardiff City in their goalless draw on matchday two.

“This season I want to score more goals so you will see me being more aggressive in front of goal,” Atsu told the ChronicleLive.

“When the penalty came in Ireland I wanted to take it. Hopefully it is the start of me scoring more goals. I don’t mind taking penalties or free-kicks.

“I will be aggressive about that. If the opportunity comes up to take a penalty I will be happy and ready to take it.

“I have not taken penalties in my career before but this season I want to improve my mentality so I have to do things I haven’t been doing earlier in my career.”

Atsu has made only one appearance for the Magpies this season, lasting 21 minutes, after falling down the pecking order behind Matt Ritchie and Kenedy.

“I know that Rafa Benitez will give everybody a chance at some stage,” he said.

“For me, I am happy to be injury free after surgery on my leg. I feel that I can compete with anybody in the squad now,” he added.