Mohamed Diame reacts to criticism of Rafa Benitez – and Newcastle’s players

Mohamed Diame
Mohamed Diame

Mohamed Diame says Newcastle United’s players believe in Rafa Benitez’s tactics.

Benitez has been criticised by some TV pundits this season for being defensive.

This is the manager’s idea, but we are all back him and believe in him.

Mohamed Diame

United’s manager has fielded a five-man defence for the club’s last two Premier League games.

And Newcastle, beaten 2-1 by champions Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday, are yet to win this season.

But midfielder Diame said: “The manager has spoken about this, and we’re all behind him.

“We know what the plan is. We’ve been working with him for a while now, and we all know what we have to do.

“This is the manager’s idea, but we are all back him and believe in him.

“We will do everything to make sure that come the end of the season we’ve got the results that we want.”

Diame also believes that United’s players must “accept” the criticism that comes their way.

“People can talk – it’s one part of football,” said the 31-year-old.

“But the most important part is that, as a group, as players and staff, we all know what we want and we’re all sticking with our plan and we’re all sticking together.

“Of course, we will be criticised every week – this is part of football, and we need to accept it”.

Newcastle were given a tough start to the season by the fixture computer.

“To be honest, we knew it was going to be a hard start to the season,” said Diame.

“We always play games to win, but we also know that City were going to be difficult, that they’re brilliant on the ball, and the principle is to make sure we keep working hard.

“That idea is clear. It’s the same for everyone. That’s it. We will get results, I’m confident about this. I’m convinced about this.

“The important thing is to stick together, keep working and be patient.

“We will not play against Man City every weekend. Just be confident and everything will be OK.”