NILE Ranger admits he thought he had spurned his final chance at Newcastle after being cast aside by Alan Pardew.
The 21-year-old former Sheffield Wednesday loan striker’s off-field behaviour coupled with a shocking punctuality record saw him slip so far down the pecking order at St James’ Park. However, the penny has finally dropped with a man who has persuaded the manager he deserves another opportunity to prove he can harness his natural talent, and his rehabilitation reached a landmark in Bordeaux this week when he was handed a first senior start for the club since April 2010 in the Europa League.
Asked if he thought his days on Tyneside were numbered, Ranger admitted: “Definitely. I thought, ‘That’s it, I have to move on to another club’. I thought my future was going to be somewhere else. It’s not been the case. There’s always another chance to turn a new leaf. The gaffer has been good with me. He told me he was watching me, but not to take anything for granted. He wants me to keep up the good work. If you do everything right and you train well, then you can’t be ignored. He’s rewarded me.”