The 29-year-old was deployed by Alan Pardew - awaiting news of the severity of Fabricio Coloccini's hamstring injury - in a more central position last season, and continues to learn his new trade this year.
"I have never played in the centre of midfield before, or maybe I did a long time ago, but not recently," he told the Evening Chronicle.
"It is something all players may have to do this season with the extra games.
"My attitude is that I try to play at least 7/10. I try to do the job the manager wants me to do. Maybe I won't be spectacular in that role, but I know that I will do a good job.
"I try to improve, when I have been given this role I try to watch other players who have played this position.
"It is the most important thing in football - you need to understand where you need to be at certain moments in the game.
"When I play left-back, central midfield, in the No 10 role, I always try to find the best position to be in. The biggest thing is that you need to know exactly where you should be because when you are in your normal position you do it naturally.
"So I watch the best players in the world who play in central midfield and look to them. I watch a lot of left-backs and central midfielders to learn about them."