LOSING one game doesn’t sit well with Daryl Janmaat, let alone six in a row.
And Janmaat, a fierce competitor, is determined that Newcastle United end their losing run – sooner rather than later.
The defender, one of the few players to emerge from the past few months with any credit, is looking to lead by example between now and the end of the season.
The 25-year-old, unquestionably the club’s player of the season, admits it’s a “strange” experience to have lost so many games.
That run has left the club just seven points clear of third-from-bottom Leicester City, next weekend’s opponents.
Three of the six teams below Newcastle, including Sunderland, have a game in hand over Carver’s side, who take on Swansea City at St James’s Park tomorrow.
We have to turn it around. We have to make sure that we win.Daryl Janmaat
Janmaat, tipped as a future club captain by head coach John Carver, feels three points will be enough to secure the club’s Premier League status for another year.
“It’s strange for me,” Janmaat told the Gazette. “It’s the first time for me that we’ve lost so many games in a row.
“We have to turn it around. We have to make sure that we win.”
While others, among them captain Fabricio Coloccini and stand-in skipper Moussa Sissoko, have shown a lack of leadership in recent months, Janmaat, signed from Feyenoord last summer, has proved a leader on the pitch.
The right-back expertly recently filled in at centre-half during Coloccini’s recent suspension, and his presence in the dressing room was recently lauded by Carver, who will be without banned midfielder Sissoko against Swansea.
Asked about his leadership qualities, the Holland international said: “I have to play at my level.
“It’s easy to play good in a team that’s playing well, so I try to play at my level.”
United were beaten 3-1 by Tottenham Hotspur at St James’s Park last weekend, and Janmaat, blunty, admits the team, which has been decimated by a series of injuries and suspensions, simply wasn’t good enough.
Too many times this season, Newcastle just haven’t been good enough.
Positivity is hard to find in the city, and the challenge for Carver – who welcomes back Janmaat’s Dutch countryman Siem de Jong for the Swansea match – and his squad is to stay positive in the dressing room.
“I’m really, really disappointed that we didn’t win (against Tottenham),” he said. “We knew we had to win this game.
“It’s very disappointing. We were not good enough. We have to be careful now. We need some points – we know that.
“It’s difficult to stay positive, but we have to be positive.
“We have five games left, and we need – minimum – one win.
“We have to do everything for that, and this is another big opportunity to get three points. Hopefully, we can get a result as soon as possible. That’s what we need – three points.
“We have to play at our levels, and in the last game, we didn’t do that.
“Everybody’s really disappointed. They tried to do their best and work hard, but we need some points. At the moment, it’s hard for us to win games.
“But we have to turn things around.”