Moussa Sissoko helped secure Newcastle United’s Premier League status – then pledged his future to the club.
Sissoko and Jonas Gutierrez netted in yesterday’s 2-0 win over West Ham United at St James’s Park.
The result lifted the club, which had been in danger of being relegated to the Championship on the final day of a troubled campaign, up to a season-ending position of 15th.
Sissoko felt his goal was the most important of his career given the club’s perilous position up to then.
“I’m very happy, because the last few weeks have been very hard for us,” said the 25-year-old.
“This was a very big game – like the final of the Champions League or something like that – but we won so we are very happy.
“Now, we need to have a good rest and hopefully next season we will be better.
“I think it’s the most important goal I have scored. It was 0-0, and we didn’t know what was happening between Hull and Manchester United.
“When I scored I was so happy, and that’s why I ran to the bench with the rest of the team. I think we played very well from the beginning to the end. The team was very good.
“Jonas played very well and when he scored the second goal, everyone could see how happy he was.
I still have four years on my contract, and I am very happy to be staying here with Newcastle.Moussa Sissoko
“He has had some very bad times this year with his cancer, but he came back very well and I was very happy for him.”
Sissoko talked of his keenness to join a “big club” in January, and he has long been tipped to leave the club this summer.
But the France international says his intention is to remain at Newcastle, a club he feels can challenge for a top-eight place next season.
“I still have four years on my contract, and I am very happy to be staying here with Newcastle,” he said. “I am going to have one week off now, and then after that I will be joining up with the national team.
“I will be back in Newcastle in July, and I am still here and still happy.
“This is a big club with good players and fantastic fans. Maybe we have to play with more confidence next season, like we did today.
“If we do that, there is no reason why we cannot finish in the top eight, because we have a very good team.
“We just have to prove that every week because everybody knows that the Premier League is not easy. Everyone can beat everyone else, so we will see what happens next year.
“We have to be stronger next season.”