Sean Longstaff admits he was “distracted by the outside noise” of links to Manchester United this summer.
Longstaff emerged as a surprise transfer target for a United side looking to rebuild around young British talents.
The midfielder had only just burst onto the scene for Newcastle but was being linked with a £50m move to Old Trafford.
It did not come to fruition and Longstaff has instead continued his development at St James’ Park away from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer-shaped distractions.
“I try to stay the same,” he told NUTV.
“The expectations come from people outside of the club, really. You speak to the manager and speak to the players on a daily basis and you know what they want.
“At the end of the day, as long as you’re doing what they want and they’re happy with you, that’s how it’s got to be.
“You can sometimes get distracted by the outside noise and, maybe for a little bit in the summer, I did. It’s hard not to when you go anywhere and you see your face on the front of a newspaper or you turn the telly on and people are talking about you.
It’s not like they’re talking about little things, they’re talking about stuff that can change your life, really.
“But the expectation is half what I’ve done as well and it’s probably a good thing. It just goes to show that I did impress people when I played last year.
“For me, it’s about not listening to them and sticking to what I do.”