Mo Diame ready to roll up his sleeves for Newcastle United to ensure they see off all challengers
But the Senegal international, who went up via the play-offs with Hull City last season, is determined for the Magpies to do so as champions.
And he is willing to roll his sleeves up to ensure they see off the challenge from the likes of Brighton, Huddersfield and Reading.
“We focus on ourselves but we want to win this league. So of course we look at what happens with Brighton,” he said of the pressure from the second tier chasing pack.
“But we need to stay focused on ourselves first.
“We know if we do our job everything will work out for us.”
United have found that few points come gift wrapped at this level. You have to fight for every inch.
But having been there and done that at the KC Stadium, the summer signing was never in any doubt it would be the same with the Magpies, whoever they signed and whatever their budget, crowds or manager.
Diame continued: “Everyone when they play Newcastle they want to play well and show their best football.
“We need to work harder to make sure we win. But the team is still focused we know what we have to do to win. We must fight together, be compact and everything will work.
“What we need to do is make sure that we play more like we know we can and score more than the other team.
“This is what this league asks. We do not have a choice.
“We have to be ready.
“When we started the season the manager had a meeting with us and told us all that we would not be able to play football every week and win easy – he said this would be hard.
“We knew it would be a battle.
“It is difficult every single game. Tackles, you need to be ready to receive them and pick yourself off the ground and go again.
“We have to do that to the very end.”