Abeid credits loan spell for transforming career

Newcastle United midfielder Mehdi Abeid has credited his loan spell at Panathinaikos last season with transforming his career on Tyneside.

The 22-year-old has broken his way into the Newcastle starting XI in recent weeks, featuring in the last three games of a five-match winning streak in all competitions for Alan Pardew's men.

Abeid has earned praise from his manager for his performances in the victories over Manchester City, Liverpool and West Brom and believes his time on loan with Athens club Panathinaikos, in which he won the Greek Cup, has played a key role in his development.

"A lot has changed," said Abeid. "I've been out on loan a lot and I have come back here to have some time to play and show the manager and the club I can play for them. I am really happy.

"I knew I had to play football and that's why I went to Greece. I got a lot of experience, I learned a lot and I came back with a strong mentality and a strong character. I have always been working and I'm happy about that.

"The manager said I have to keep doing what I'm doing but I have to concentrate, to work hard every day and I will get a chance. I had my chance last week, I try to do my best and it's working so I am very pleased with that."

Former Lens man Abeid will link up with the Algeria squad this week for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers with Ethiopia and Mali but is unsure whether he will be able maintain a regular place in the Newcastle side ahead of Cheick Tiote, the Ivory Coast international who has missed the last five games through injury.

"I don't know [if he could keep Tiote out of the team]," he added. "We are both doing our best and hopefully we can play together. We'll see what will be in the next game."