Mohamed Diame reveals how he has turned his Newcastle career around

Mohamed Diame has revealed the secret behind his return to form at Newcastle United.
Mohamed DiameMohamed Diame
Mohamed Diame

Diame scored in Sunday’s 1-1 draw against Crystal Palace.

The midfielder, signed from Hull City for £5million in the summer of 2016, struggled for form last season in the Championship.

Diame even retired from international football with Senegal in March last year so he could concentrate on his club career.

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The 30-year-old has come into form over the past two months.

Asked what had changed, Diame said: “Nothing, just the work.

“I’ve been working hard to get back to the player I want to be. That’s it, just the work.

“Of course, it’s what I want to do and what I have to do.

“If Newcastle signed me, it was to have this kind of performance, so it’s important to show I can stay at this level or give more.”

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Diame poked home a Kenedy corner at the far post to give United a first-half lead at Selhurst Park.

The strike was cancelled out by a controversial second-half penalty from Luka Milivojevic.

“It’s always great to score goals, so yes, it’s a great feeling,” said Diame, who scored six goals in all competitions last season.

“But it would be better if we won this game.

“If I have to be honest, it’s a fair result, because I think in the second half they could’ve won this game. I think it’s a fair result.

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“Recently, we have had a lot of similar games that we are winning then after we draw at the end.

“It’s all about focus, staying together and keeping the shape of the team.

“It’s hard. It’s going to be difficult to learn, but we know that. We have to keep going.”

Diame – who also scored in December’s 2-1 win over West Ham United at the London Stadium – wants to bring more goals to Newcastle in the coming weeks and months.

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“It’s something I want to add to my game,” said the powerful player.

“It’s nice to have this feeling, and I hope I will score more.”

The Palace result moved the club one point clear of the Premier League’s relegation zone.

“It’s a point, and we need points to stay up,” said Diame.

“You always have to take it as a good point. If you take three points, it’s better.

But I think it’s a point that will be important at the end.

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“We have 12 games, and we need to keep going and fighting. That’s it. Nothing else.”

Rafa Benitez’s side entertain second-placed Manchester United at St James’s Park on Sunday.

Newcastle haven’t won at home since October 21, when they beat Palace 1-0 thanks to a Mikel Merino goal.

“It’s a big game, a massive game,” said Diame.

“We’re at home, and the fans will help us.

“We need to put pressure on them and win this game.”