Graham tipping Routledge to shine

  • Last Updated: November 16 2012, 13:03 GMT

Danny Graham is backing Wayne Routledge to show Newcastle just what they are missing when Swansea head to St James' Park.

Wayne Routledge: Enjoyed a strong start to the season

Winger Routledge has enjoyed a superb start to the season for the Swans, scoring two goals and causing chaos among opposition defences with his pace and trickery.

The 27-year-old has flourished under the stewardship of Michael Laudrup, and will hope to continue that form as he faces one of his former clubs.

Routledge signed for Newcastle in January 2010, and was sold to Swansea barely 18 months later, having also spent five months on loan at QPR.

And striker Graham, a Magpies fan, knows how badly his team-mate will want to show the Tyneside supporters they did not see the best of him.

"Wayne has been superb - he is probably in the best form of his career," said Graham.

"He was always a tricky winger who could get assists and do well for the strikers, but he's added goals this season which has made him a real threat for us.

"Now he's going back up there (to Newcastle).

"I always joke to Wayne that he's lived my dream playing for Newcastle. We live in the same apartment block and always have a bit of banter about it.

"I'm sure he wants to go back and prove a point for himself. Newcastle wanted rid of him and he's had a superb season, so it's up to him to show them what they're missing out on.

"He's a top bloke, a down-to-earth guy. He's had his highs and lows.

"He had his great move to Tottenham from Palace and had to deal with not playing there.

"It's been tough for him. He's been on loan everywhere and it's hard to be in and out of teams.

"You need to be settled and enjoying your football, and I think that's what he's doing this year."

While Routledge has impressed, Graham has had to endure a frustrating campaign thus far.

The former Middlesbrough, Carlisle and Watford forward was Swansea's top scorer last season, but Laudrup's decision to push in-form Michu forward has left Graham out of the side in recent weeks.

The 27-year-old could make a return to the starting XI against Alan Pardew's men as an injury to Ki Sung-yueng and doubts over the fitness of Kemy Agustien and Leon Britton could mean a return to midfield duties for Michu.

And Graham says he will be more than ready if called upon.

He said: "I just train as hard as I can. I know all players go through difficult times. It's part and parcel - it's how you deal with it.

"I've been doing really well in training and I feel as I've reacted well. If selected, I'm ready.

"I've just not been taking my chances as well as I did last year. That happens in football.

"I've had a few chances throughout the season and missed them, and that's maybe led to the dip in form.

"But I just train as I normally train - I always give 110 per cent. I get on with it and don't let things beat me up."


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