Liam Gibson is ready for the challenge at Accrington Stanley – and admits it was his Newcastle United teammate Dan Barlaser who influenced him to sign.
The left back has signed for the Reds on loan until the end of the season and is available to feature against Bristol Rovers on Saturday.
A number of clubs were said to be chasing the 21-year-old but Liam says Dan, who extended his own loan at the Wham Stadium until the end of the season last week, gave Stanley good reviews.
“The move has been in the pipeline for about a month and I cannot wait to get started,” said Gibson, who has battled back from an inflammatory bowel disease which required four operations and threatened his playing career.
“I have watched a few games and I know what the club is all about, I am buzzing to be at a club like this.
“I have been playing U23 football but this is totally different, this is men’s football, and I need to take this step at this time in my career.
“It is good the gaffer here has faith in me to make the step up and believes I am ready for League One and can come in and do well for the club.
“There were other clubs interested but I don’t want to be on the bench, I want to play and I know Accrington can offer me this opportunity if I do well.
“I have known Dan since I was 11 and both him and Luke Charman, who has now gone back to Newcastle, said it’s brilliant here. They both said they love it and Dan has been desperate to get me here.
“Dan is a big character and I am sure there will be plenty of laughs off the pitch as well.”
READ A FULL INTERVIEW WITH LIAM GIBSON IN SATURDAY’S MATCHDAY PROGRAMME