Mohamed Diame says he’s going nowhere this summer – as he’s determined to fight for his place at Newcastle United.
The midfielder joined the club from Hull City last summer.
Diame, however, struggled for form in the Championship.
And the 30-year-old admitted midway through the campaign that he needed to “wake up”.
Diame – who has since retired from international football to focus on his club career – spoke about his future ahead of this afternoon’s home game against his former club West Ham United.
“I’m going to fight all I can to be in the (starting) XI most of the time and to win games,” said Diame. “I’m here, so that’s it. I will always fight for it.”
I’m going to fight all I can to be in the (starting) XI.Mohamed Diame
Diame started Wednesday night’s Carabao Cup defeat to Nottingham Forest.
The defeat followed Premier League losses against Huddersfield Town and Tottenham Hotspur.
Diame, however, remains upbeat about United’s prospects.
“This is still only the beginning of the season,” said the former Senegal international.
“Of course, we all play football to win games ,and when we are not winning, you lose a bit of confidence. But we keep on working, stay focused, try to do what the manager wants from us and always try to give our best.”
The opening fixtures have been played out against the backdrop of manager Rafa Benitez’s unhappiness at the club’s transfer efforts.
And United’s players, as revealed by the Gazette earlier this week, are yet to agree a bonus scheme for this season.
Diame, however, insists off-the-field issues are not distracting the players on the pitch.
“No, we’ll not allow that (to happen),” said Diame, when spent two years at West Ham.
“When we are out there on the pitch, it’s all about football and winning the game.
“Nothing else matters. If some stuff happens outside, it can maybe affect us in our preparations for the game, but as soon as you step on the pitch, you are playing football, you are trying to score goals and win games. That’s it.”
Asked if Newcastle’s squad was strong enough, Diame added: “We are always hearing a lot of people saying we need new signings and more strength in the squad, but, at the moment, this is what we’ve got.
“I believe we have enough quality, but now we need to fight for it, show character and carry the responsibility ourselves. No one said it was going to be easy.”
Forest beat United 3-2 in extra-time thanks to a 98th-minute goal form Tyler Walker. Reflecting on the game, Diame said: “It’s always disappointing when you lose, especially at home and to a Championship team, who we were expected to beat.
“We did not take our chances and we gave them far too much space.
“In the first half, we conceded two poor goals. It’s a bad night for us, but now we have to be focused on the league.
“West Ham is a big game for us. It has become massively important after the start we have had. We’re just looking for that first win. That’s it. We’re working hard to get it – we need some points.”