Jonas Gutierrez says his final appearance for Newcastle United will be the biggest of his career at St James’s Park.
The club is in danger of being relegated from the Premier League.
We have to do it for the fans and the city, because they don’t deserve to be in this situation. We are the players, and we have to take responsibility.Jonas Gutierrez
Newcastle must beat West Ham United on Sunday to be sure of staying up.
Gutierrez’s seven-year career at the club is likely to come to an end this summer with his contract expiring at the end of the campaign.
The 31-year-old has painful memories of United’s last relegation at Villa Park in 2009 – and he’s determined that history does not repeat itself on home turf in what will be his 205th appearance for the club.
“It’s the most important game I have to play in seven years,” said Gutierrez.
“The good thing is that we play at home and it’s in our hands.
“A few players here know what it’s like to go down, and it’s not nice for the city, the players and the club.
“We need to move forward to the next game, and do it for the fans and the city.”
Gutierrez made an emotional comeback for Newcastle in March after being given the all-clear following treatment for testicular cancer in his native Argentina late last year.
And his versatility has proved invaluable to head coach John Carver, whose squad has been decimated by injuries and suspensions.
“I know this could be my last game at St James’s Park,” he said.
“Since I have recovered from my illness, I have always said the same thing. I want to help the team and work hard.
“I’ve been improving all the weeks since I arrived. I feel stronger and feel I can play 90 minutes.
“Two months ago, I didn’t know I was going to be able to (play).
“I feel strong. I think the same – help the team. Most of all, we have to do it for the fans and the city, because they don’t deserve to be in this situation.
“We are the players, and we have to take responsibility.
“It’s always our responsibility. We are the players that are on the pitch. We have to do it for the fans and the city.
“This is not a good thing for Newcastle United. This can’t happen – Newcastle can’t wait until the last week to see if we stay up or not in the Premier League.
“We have to do it for fans and the city.”
Gutierrez, however, insists the significance of his probable last appearance at St James’s Park won’t be on his mind when he crosses the white line against West Ham.
“The only one which was emotional was Man United, because it was me coming back from my illness,” he said.
“After that, I think just about the games.
“The fans were really good with me since I arrived and through my illness. I really appreciated their support.
“I try to do my best for the team and for them. That is more important.
“I don’t have another option than to just think about the game.”
Newcastle looked to be on course to secure the club’s top-flight status at Loftus Road on Saturday, with Carver’s side having led Queens Park Rangers at thanks to a first-half Emmanuel Riviere goal.
But their afternoon quickly unravelled after the break, and strikes from Matty Phillips and Leroy Fer gave relegated QPR a 2-1 victory.
“It’s really frustrating – I’m really upset about the result and the situation,” said Gutierrez. “We can’t allow that to happen.
“That’s not acceptable. We’re in a situation where we need to be strong. We scored and we were winning, and we had to take care of the ball and be patient and not start running everywhere and leave spaces.
“In this type of football, if you leave spaces, you are going to concede.”