Christian Atsu says Newcastle United must “release the pressure” – by winning at Old Trafford.
Rafa Benitez’s winless side take on Manchester United tomorrow.
We have to win that game to release the pressure to give us more confidence and to look at the table better.Christian Atsu
The club is 18th in the Premier League ahead of the televised game, which follows a 2-0 home defeat to Leicester City.
Newcastle have only won once at Old Trafford since 1972, and Atsu is expecting a backlash from Jose Mourinho’s side, who were beaten 3-1 by West Ham United last weekend.
They were also held to a goalless draw by Valencia on Tuesday night, and reports claim that Mourinho could be sacked if results don’t improve.
Atsu and his team-mates are also under pressure.
“We have to win that game to release the pressure to give us more confidence and to look at the table better,” said Atsu.
“We’re going to work hard in training to improve – each and every one of us.
“We know it will be difficult at Old Trafford, but we have no excuse.
“The game is going to be very hard, because they lost
“They’re a big team, they don’t lose many games in a row.
“It will be very difficult and we won’t want to lose the game. It will be a tough one, but we will be doing everything we can to win it.”
Atsu started against Leicester, with Kenedy having been needed at left-back in the absence through injury of Paul Dummett.
Meanwhile, Mourinho’s position would be untenable if Man United lose to Newcastle, according to Paul Ince.
The club has had its worst start to a league campaign in 29 years despite a massive spend. And Ince – who won the Premier League title twice with Man United under Sir Alex Ferguson – feels if the team does not produce the required result against Newcastle, then Mourinho’s position would be “in real danger”.
“Jose Mourinho’s time is running out, United are no better off than they were before him,” said Ince. “If they don’t get a result against Newcastle this weekend, Jose Mourinho is in real danger.
“He won’t walk, because that’s not in his character.
“I hate the thought of Jose being sacked, but if you are not picking up results, and there’s this black cloud hanging around Old Trafford, your time as manager is running out.
“If they lose on Saturday evening, particularly if it’s a bad loss, there will be a decision made on Jose Mourinho’s future very quickly.
“The signs are not looking good for him. The fact is, United are no better off than they were before Mourinho.
“In the past, you’d say United aren’t the kind of club to just sack a manager, but it seems that is what they’re like now.”
Man United are on their longest winless run since the Louis van Gaal era, and are without a home victory since the season-opener against Leicester City on August 10.