Mohamed Diame reveals Rafa Benitez's dressing room message to his Newcastle side
Mohamed Diame has revealed Rafa Benitez's message to his Newcastle United side before the club's win over Brighton and Hove Albion.
Benitez’s side won 2-0 at St James’s Park on Saturday to move up to fourth place in the Championship.
Summer signing Diame felt the team played the “perfect game” against Brighton, who had been unbeaten in the league since February
“The manager told us Brighton were a very good team, but we are at home and we are Newcastle United,” said Diame, signed from Hull City for £4.5million.
“The lads responded really well. We worked hard and we played the perfect game.”
Newcastle lost their opening two Championship games to Fulham and Huddersfield Town.
United initially looked uncomfortable with the pace and intensity of the division, but they have since won successive four league and cup matches.
“When you start a season, you’re still thinking about last season, and maybe the mood is still about the games we lost last season, but the team is feeling better now and working hard,” said midfielder Diame.
“It was important to finish this month well. Soon we will know who is going to leave and the squad will be focused on the same target.”
When United resume their Championship campaign after the international break, the uncertainty of the transfer window will be gone.
Diame, 29, said: “It’s not always easy when you’ve got some players wanting to leave and others wanting to stay. Once the month is finished we can focus on the same thing.
Diame feels Benitez’s new-look team is starting to gel a month into the new campaign, and he is enjoying playing alongside Jonjo Shelvey, who scored Newcastle’s second goal against Brighton.
“At Hull City I had a player like Tom Huddlestone alongside me, and now I’ve come here and found Jonjo Shelvey,” said Diame.
“It’s good to play with a player like this.
“The only way to get your confidence back is to win games and that’s what we’re doing now.
“Hopefully, we can be confident now and the spirit of the team will be great.”
On the Brighton game, Diame added: “It was a good performance.
“We know Brighton are a massive team in this league, and they’ve done really well this last year ,so it was important to win.”