Sean Longstaff consulted psychologist to deal with pressures of being a player
The 23-year-old, who along with younger brother Matty has emerged from the academy ranks at their hometown club, sought advice after a difficult spell in his fledgling career.
He told the Magpies’ match programme: “As a sportsperson, as a player, you never think you need help. You think you need to do everything yourself.
“But sometimes you can’t. There are certain things you do need. I’ve always been someone who looks at what other sportsmen are doing and if the top sportsmen are doing it, then it’s good enough for me as well.
“That was probably the best thing I’ve ever done. It’s helped me mentally be in a much better place. I’m really happy with where I am now.”
Longstaff turned to a psychologist recommended by team-mate Matt Ritchie after things came to a head while he was having breakfast with his father and brother.
He said: “I’d played the day before, but I hadn’t been great. We spoke, but I couldn’t eat my breakfast. I could feel myself welling up at the table.
“Eventually we left. I got upstairs in my house and spoke to my dad for 10 minutes. I burst out crying. I was in a pretty bad way.”
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