Mohamed Diame was an ever-present this season before limping off against Manchester United at the turn of the year.
There’s now a new name on Rafa Benitez’s teamsheet.
I will give everything to help the team and make sure we get our target as soon as possible.Mohamed Diame
Sean Longstaff has impressively established himself in Benitez’s midfield over the past six weeks.
Now fit along with Ki Sung-yueng, Diame knows he can’t expect to walk back into the starting XI because of the performances of the 21-year-old alongside Isaac Hayden, who scored in Monday night’s 1-1 draw against Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Diame – who made his comeback off the bench at Molineux – has been kicking every ball from the sidelines, and he’s now keen to get back on to the pitch.
“It’s difficult to be outside the pitch,” said the 31-year-old. “Watching the game from the stand is not easy.
“Now I’m back, and I hope I will help the team. I will give everything to help the team and make sure we get our target as soon as possible.”
Diame, in the final year of his United deal, suffered a groin injury against Man United and fractured a bone in his foot on his return to training.
“I had a crack on my bone in my fifth metatarsal,” said Diame. “The Man United game was just my groin, but I was fine after two or three days. At the training during the week, I received a kick on my foot and I had a crack on the bone. That’s why I was away for so long.
“I’ve been watching them from the stand. I’ve been seeing them work really hard.
“The team’s still fighting – we know that we’ll be fighting until the end. I’m here to help, and I will give everything to make sure we get our target.”
Wolves scored a controversial equaliser in the 95th minute at Molienux. Nuno Espirito Santo’s side had scored an injury-time winner at St James’s Park two months earlier.
“The game we played at home against them, they scored in the last minute too,” said Diame. “Of course, we’re really disappointed, but I think the team is doing well. We need to take the positives.
“The team has been working well in the last three games. We need to keep going. The attitude was good. We try to not concede any more in the last minute.”
Benitez, United’s manager, has taken his players to Spain for a five-day training camp and friendly against CSKA Moscow on Saturday ahead of the February 23 home game against Huddersfield Town.
“It’s always positive to spend some time together,” said Diame. “I think it’s good for the team. Hopefully, we will come back with a lot of energy and be ready for this final against Huddersfield.”
The Wolves result has left Newcastle 16th in the Premier League and just a point above the relegation zone.
“We need this attitude and team spirit we had last season and this season also,” said Diame. “It’s there, we know, and I’m pretty sure we will do it.”