Mohamed Diame explains how he’s made it ‘difficult’ for Rafa Benitez at Newcastle

Mohamed Diame
Mohamed Diame

Mohamed Diame says the best it yet to come from him this season.

Diame has hit form for Newcastle United over the past two months.

As I’ve said before, it wasn’t easy for me, but I kept working, and I feel better every game.

Mohamed Diame

The midfielder was superb alongside Jonjo Shelvey in the club’s 1-0 home win over Manchester United earlier this month.

Diame – who struggled for form last season after joining from Hull City in a £4.5million deal – is preparing for Saturday’s game against Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium.

The 30-year-old retired from international football with Senegal last year to concentrate on his club career.

And Diame feels his hard work is starting to pay dividends on the pitch.

Asked about his form, Diame said: “As I’ve said before, it wasn’t easy for me, but I kept working, and I feel better every game.

“Hopefully, I can be a regular for the rest of the season and give a good performance.

“You need to work hard in training and make it a difficult choice for the manager as to who makes his starting XI.”

United, knocked out of the FA Cup by Chelsea last month, were without a game at the weekend. The two-week break between fixtures has given the club’s players a chance to rest and recover.

Newcastle are 13th in the Premier League table and a point above the relegation zone. And Diame – who scored in United’s last away game against Crystal Palace – is expecting a “fight until the end” at the bottom of the division.

“We need to keep working to stay focused, because it’s going to be a big fight until the end,” said Diame. “With this result we go there confident.

“Every game we play, we’re going there to win.

“It doesn’t matter who we play against, we need to keep our shape and the way we are working hard in training and in the game.”

United beat Bournemouth 1-0 at the Vitality Stadium the season before last thanks to a goal from Ayoze Perez.

Meanwhile, Newcastle will be without a game for three weeks – unless Rochdale pull off a cup shock.

The club is due to play Tottenham Hotspur, held to a 2-2 draw at Spotland on Sunday, at Wembley on Friday, March 16.

Rochdale scored a dramatic late equaliser to take the fifth-round tie to a replay.

If Tottenham beat the League One club on February 28, United’s Wembley visit will be postponed as it falls on the FA Cup’s quarter-final weekend.

The cup weeked is followed by a two-week international break. If Tottenham progress to the quarter-finals, Newcastle would be without a match between the March 10 home game against Southampton and the March 31 fixture against Huddersfield Town at St James’s Park.

The uncertainty is a problem for supporters, who will have to wait until the end of the month to find out if they need to book travel and accommodation for the club’s first visit to the rebuilt Wembley.