Papiss Demba Cisse has shrugged off speculation about his future – and insisted he’s fully focused on success with Newcastle United.
The striker scored in yesterday’s season-opening 2-2 draw against Southampton at St James’s Park.
Cisse cancelled out Graziano Pelle’s first-half opener before the break with the 35th Premier League goal of his United career.
The 30-year-old chested in a deflected cross from Massadio Haidara which was missed by goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg.
Cisse said: “People say it’s easy, but I always say ‘I need to be in there’.
“It’s easy, but it’s a goal. I’m a striker. I need to be in the right place every time. This time I had a chance to be in te right place. I’m happy.”
Georginio Wijnaldum put Steve McClaren’s side into the lead in the 48th minute, but visiting substitute Shane Long claimed a point with an equaliser 11 minutes from time.
There is a question mark over the future of No 9 Cisse, with the club, which signed Aleksandar Mitrovic last month, still looking to bring in another striker before the transfer window closes at the end of the month.
However, Cisse – who has two years left on his contract – says his only focus is scoring more goals for Newcastle.
Asked about speculation about his future, Cisse said: “I have a contract at Newcastle United.
“I need to be professional every time (I play).
“I’m a Newcastle player and I try to work hard every game and every chance I get.
“I’m here. I enjoy this moment. The gaffer speaks to me and they are teaching me things. I’m happy to work here.”
Cisse scored 11 Premier League goals last season despite missing much of the season through injury and suspension.
And the Senegal international – who was hampered by a knee problem and also served a long suspension for spitting at Manchester United’s Jonny Evans – is keen to put that campaign behind him.
“I try to forget about last season,” he said. “It was very, very hard for me.
“I need to keep my smile. If you take that away, it’s not good. I just always do my best for this team.”