Damien Duff says his passion for football has been rekindled within a few weeks of joining Fulham.

The Irish international told ESPN:

“It feels great to be back in a part of London that was good to me the first time around. It just didn’t work out for me at Newcastle and what has happened up there is a real shame. The North East is an area that lives for football and the fans are desperate for a bit of success, but it didn’t work out for any of us and the off field problems didn’t help the situation.

“In the end, it was best for all parties that I moved on and I was delighted to have a chance to work with a manager who I got on so well with at Blackburn in Roy Hodgson. Fulham has a lot of stability around it and that wasn’t the same story for the club I left a few weeks back. That’s why I jumped at the chance to return to this part of the world when Fulham came in for me. I wasn’t enjoying my football at Newcastle and needed a change, so I’m feeling very good about this opportunity.”

Duff dismisses the idea that Fulham’s Europa League commitments will be detrimental for the club in the long run.

“Some people have said the European games are going to be a negative for us this season, but I don’t see it like that at all. Everyone at Fulham deserves credit for finishing seventh last season and getting into the Europa League. Doing well in that competition would give everyone a lift and we are certainly not looking at the games and thinking they are going to make life difficult for us.”

Duff is eager to take his fine club form into the international arena as he enjoys a resurgence under new Irish boss Giovanni Trapattoni.

“Ireland’s revival can be put down to our coach because he is top notch. Trapattoni has worked with some of the biggest names in world football down the years and he has come into an Ireland team that was not doing too well and got us organised and winning games very quickly.

“We are grinding out results and that isn’t something Ireland have been too good at in recent years. Our qualifying hopes were over a long time before the end in our last campaign, but we are in there with a chance of going to South Africa this time and it would be a great boost to everyone back home if we make it.”