Chris Wood has admitted he simply could not turn Newcastle down after being asked to swap Burnley’s fight for Premier League survival for their rescue mission.

There was general dismay at the Lancashire club when news emerged that the Magpies had activated the New Zealand international striker’s escape clause, understood to amount to £25million, and his departure for St James’ Park has left Clarets fans fearing the worst.

However, Wood insisted he had little option after being offered the opportunity to play a part in what the Tyneside club’s ambitious new owners hope will be the start of something big.

Asked about leaving Burnley at a press conference on Thursday afternoon, the 30-year-old said: “It wasn’t an easy decision. I just think it’s a great opportunity.

“I spent four-and-a-half great years there, every single year I really enjoyed myself there. My team-mates, the staff, the club as a whole was fantastic.

“To be honest, I wish I’d left when Burnley were further up the league, but that’s just how it is and it’s just how football is sometimes.

“Nobody can plan these sorts of things, you’ve just got to look at what’s in front of you and how you’re doing with football at the point in time.

“It was a case of this is a massive opportunity and a massive club, and something that I couldn’t turn down.”

Wood, who has 60 senior caps, is Newcastle’s second January signing after the £12million capture of England full-back Kieran Trippier, and a man who reached double figures for goals in each of his four full top-flight seasons at Burnley could prove a key figure in a tooth-and-nail battle.

The Magpies and the Clarets currently occupy 19th and 18th place respectively in the table, with Wood’s new employers hoping to climb out of the bottom three with victory over fellow strugglers Watford tomorrow.

Asked about his fee, which has been questioned in some quarters, he replied: “It’s one of those. You’re only as good as what the club wants to pay for you. If that’s what Newcastle feel I was worth at this point in time, that’s how it is.

“You never know, in six months’ time you could be looking back and saying it’s a great deal and it will all be worth it.

“It’s a great team and a great squad and with all the ability to get ourselves out of this fight that we’re in. No illusions, it’s going to be very tough, but ultimately we’re not too far off being safe anyway, so that could eventually turn around at the weekend.”

Head coach Eddie Howe is delighted to have bolstered his attacking options in the wake of Saturday’s embarrassing FA Cup third-round exit at the hands of Sky Bet League One club Cambridge.

He said: “Chris is an important signing for us at a crucial time and I’m very pleased we have been able to move quickly and bring him here.

“He is a very dangerous attacking threat, has a physicality and character that I really like, and he has vast experience in the Premier League. He will be a great fit for us.”