The solution to Newcastle’s problems is ‘simple’ for Mohamed Diame

Mohamed Diame.
Mohamed Diame.

Newcastle United must come off the back foot – and go on the attack.

That’s the verdict of Mohamed Diame.

We have to keep believing in what we’re doing and trying to win games, because that’s why we are here. We need to work harder, score more and concede less –it’s simple.

Mohamed Diame

The club was beaten 2-1 by Arsenal at St James’s Park on Saturday.

Rafa Benitez’s side have taken just one point from their first five Premier League fixtures, though four of those games were against teams which finished in the top six last season.

“The season has already started – we cant forget about the games we have had,” said Diame, who partnered former Arsenal player Isaac Hayden in midfield against Unai Emery’s side.

“We have to keep believing in what we’re doing and trying to win games, because that’s why we are here.

“We need to work harder, score more and concede less –it’s simple.”

Benitez said that he was not worried after the Arsenal defeat given the opposition his team had faced in the opening weeks of the season.

Newcastle take on Selhurst Park at Crystal Palace on Saturday.

And Diame said: “I’m not worried.

“We’ve spoken with the manager about the situation, because we are playing exactly like we were last year.

“We had these big games in the beginning, and we knew they were coming.

“Now these games are over, we’re going to go into these games and try to get that first win.”

United match Arsenal in the first half, but their performance unravelled after the break.

Goals from Granit Xhaka and Mesut Ozil put the visitors in a commanding position.

Newcastle substitute Ciaran Clark, on for injured captain Ciaran Clark, netted a late consolation goal.

All of United’s league defeats have come by a one-goal margin.

“We didn’t start the second half like we started the first half,” said Diame, who was a key figure in the club’s run to a 10th-placed finish last season.

“It was a shame, because it was a terrific free-kick (from Xhaka), even if we should really have defended better before it.

“We had a great attitude in the first half, and we have to keep playing in that way and push on.

“We’re playing the same way as last season.

“People keep saying about how we are defending more, but we played exactly the same way against Man City last year when we faced the likes of Chelsea and Man City.

“We had our way to play. Now these games are over, we have attack the next games.

“We have played Arsenal, we will play Man United soon. We will keep going.”

Diame – who retired from international football with Senegal last season – is “confident” that United will soon start picking up points.

“We spent pre-season together, and we know what we all can give to this team,” said Diame.

“It’s not just about working harder. We have to make sure that when we play games like we did last year, like Tottenham and West Ham away, to show the fighting spirit, and I’m confident we will be all right.”

Diame says the Palace fixture is now “massively important” for the team.

Diame, signed from Hull City two years ago, netted in a 1-1 draw at Selhurst Park last season.

“Palace is a massively important game,” said the 31-year-old. “We have to start to win games, and it’s going to be a good game to start that run off.”

Diame is likely to have regular midfield partner Jonjo Shelvey, an unused substitute against Arsenal, back for the Palace fixture.