Sam Newman relishing new position as Edinburgh City left-back aims to help team push up the table
The 19-year-old has taken advantage of injuries to experienced duo Robbie McIntyre and Callum Crane and has been a mainstay since the 20/21 campaign got underway last month.
He has started all three of City’s League Two fixtures as well as the Betfred Cup Group H 2-1 defeat to Championship side Alloa more than three weeks ago.
However, ahead of the Capital outfit’s trip to Stenhousemuir tomorrow, Newman revealed he is more accustomed to setting up attacks than preventing them.
“It’s been really good experience to play left back because usually I’d find myself further forward,” the teenager said. “But the gaffer has helped me develop into a left back. I played there a few times last year when I came on as a substitute so it’s still a learning curve. That said, I’m really enjoying playing in that position so I’m just trying to improve each game.
“I really want to improve my versatility so I’m more use to the team going forward. I just need to focus on more my one v one defending as opposed to attacking the opposition’s full-backs. In saying that, I still try to get forward as much as I can because that’s what I am used to.
“Going from the under-20s to the first team has been a huge step. The intensity is a lot different, it’s a lot quicker and the standard of play is much better but I really feel training has helped a lot on that front. I just want to do as best I can.
“Robbie and Callum have both been really unfortunate with their injuries – they are both really good players so I’ve just tried to maintain the standards they set. I just need to keep playing well for when they do come back into the fold in order to keep my place in the side.”
The Citizens are just a point adrift of early pacesetters and pre-season title favourites Queen’s Park but Newman says it’s vital they keep ticking the wins off.
“It was really disappointing to lose to Cowdenbeath a couple of weeks ago as we should have taken a point at the very least,” he said. “But we responded with a real grind-it-out display against Elgin last week so that was pleasing.
“It wasn’t the prettiest game you’ll ever see but we got the three points and that’s what’s important. We want to keep pushing up the table.
“It’s going to be tough at Stenhousemuir tomorrow but it’s definitely one we can win. Going back to the Betfred tie against them (a 2-2 draw), the goals we conceded were avoidable so that’s one thing we must learn from.
“We have to keep tabs on the teams in and around us but, in the main, the focus is on ourselves.”