DeAndre Yedlin reveals players' reaction to '˜off-the-field talk' at Newcastle
DeAndre Yedlin says Newcastle United's players won't be distracted by off-the-field events at the club.
Yedlin and his team-mates are preparing for tomorrow’s home game against Watford.
Newcastle are 19th in the Premier League and without a win with 10 games played.
The club has been up for sale for more than a year and there’s a question mark above manager Rafa Benitez’s future given that his contract expires next summer.
Games are also being played amid a backdrop of protests against United owner Mike Ashley – and some supporters plan to boycott next month’s televised home fixture against Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Benitez insisted last month that speculation over his future and demonstrations against Ashley weren’t a distraction for his squad, and Yedlin says “off-the-field talk” is nothing new to him or his team-mates at St James’s Park.
“It’s obviously no secret that, at least while I’ve been at the club, there’s been a lot of off-the-field talk about what may happen and this and that,” said the 25-year-old defender.
“The whole time I’ve been here the players have stayed focused. Stay focused on the game plan, stay focused on what we need to do. In both seasons, we’ve had great seasons.
“At the end of the day, it’s kind of the same story. We just need to stay focused on us and our team.
“We’re the ones who ultimately will get out of this.”
Newcastle have taken just three points so far this season – all have come from goalless draws away from home – and Yedlin and his team-mates know that unless they start picking up points at St James’s Park, they will go down.
Having played five of last season’s top six already, the team is looking to capitalise on its next eight games.
Asked if the players were hopeful of putting a run of results together, Yedlin said: “Yes, 100%.
“But, at the same time, there’s no easy game in this league. That’s what makes it such an exciting league.
“Any game can offer different things and different challenges.
“That’s what you need to prepare for each game. It’s just a matter of taking it game by game and step by step.
“When you’re in a situation like we are, you have to take it slowly and not get ahead of ourselves. Slowly but surely, we’ll get out of this.”
Newcastle held Southampton to a goalless draw at the St Mary’s Stadium last weekend.
“It’s just a matter of keeping the faith and keeping believing,” said Yedlin.
“Just keep working on our game – that’s all we can do. Stay positive.
“Nobody’s ever got out of a tough situation by being negative.
“We’ve got to stay positive, keep the fans behind us.”