Debutant Blown Away By It All

Last updated : 27 December 2018 By Footy Mad - Editor

Sean Longstaff admits his Premier League debut feels "bittersweet" right now - but the Newcastle United-supporting midfielder insists he will look back fondly on that moment in years to come.

The 21-year-old was introduced as a 73rd-minute substitute during the Magpies' 4-0 defeat against unbeaten league leaders Liverpool at Anfield.

And, though United conceded twice while Longstaff was on the field, the Magpies Academy graduate showed some decent touches, and even had an opportunity to score late on, showing composure in front of goal before he was thwarted by Reds stopper Alisson Becker.

But, just like his first-team debut against Nottingham Forest in the Carabao Cup back in August - which ended in a 3-1 defeat for the Magpies at the City Ground - Longstaff's Premier League bow is tinged with disappointment, due to the final result.

Yet, despite that, given that Longstaff grew up supporting Newcastle as a child and has always dreamed of playing for the Magpies in England's top flight, he believes that when he eventually retires he will be able to look back on his Anfield debut with pride.

"It's a bittersweet day again, a bit like the Carabao Cup game," Longstaff said following his Premier League debut at Anfield

"Obviously, we've got to do a better job of sticking in games when it does go to 2-0, and do a better job of getting back in.

"We probably made it a bit too easy for them at that point, but for me to be able to come on play in one of the most iconic stadiums in the world - it's unbelievable.

"I'm a bit lost for words. I'm over the moon but, a bit like the cup game, it's a bittersweet day."

With Newcastle already 2-0 down on Wednesday and Kenedy failing to impress in midfield, Benitez called Longstaff across to the technical area to tell the young midfielder he was about to come on.

The United manager then offered some words of advice to Longstaff, telling him to make sure he enjoyed it, and that there was no pressure on him to perform given the scoreline.

"I don't [know] to be honest - I can't remember - but I just know when the manager called me, your stomach drops a little bit. You get a few butterflies," Longstaff replied when he was asked what went through his head once he learned he was coming on.

"But, you know, coming on at 2-0 down, like the manager said to me, there's no pressure on me. You [only] get to make your debut once. He just said to go and enjoy it. I tried to do that, obviously.

"It didn't help that they scored a couple more goals, but it's always going to be tough when they're on top. But it was a good day for me, and I'm over the moon for my family, who've helped me get here,, and coaches along the way."