Newcastle United news: Diame retires from international football, Sels set for run-out

Newcastle United suffered a damaging Championship defeat to Fulham at the weekend.

Rafa Benitez's side were beaten 3-1 at St James's Park on Saturday.

The league leaders are only ahead of second-placed Brighton and Hove Ablion on goal difference ahead of Saturday's game against Birmingham City.

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And United manager Benitez has demanded a reaction from his players at St Andrew's.

Daryl Murphy came off the bench to score Newcastle's goal against Fulham.

Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez

The striker delivered a blunt assessment of the team's performance after the match, while winger Christian Atsu has appealed for calm.

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In other news, United's Mohamed Diame has retired from international football after winning 36 caps for Senegal.

The 29-year-old midfielder said: "I believe that there are now 23 Senegalese players in better shape.

"After much thought and consideration, I feel that now is the appropriate time to focus fully on my club career."

Meanwhile, goalkeeper Matz Sels will play for Newcastle's Under-23s against West Ham United at St James's Park tonight (7pm kick-off).

Finally, it has been a busy day already for international call-ups.

Matt Ritchie and Grant Hanley have been called up by Scotland for a crucial World Cup qualifier, while Rob Elliot is in the Republic of Ireland squad for the first time since recovering from a serious knee injury.

Ciaran Clark has also been named in Martin O'Neill's 39-man provisional squad for the March 24 qualifier against Wales despite limping off against Fulham with a knee injury. Murphy has also been included.