Why Newcastle United winger Christian Atsu is adamant takeover talk won't affect him and his teammates

Newcastle United winger Christian Atsu started only his second game of the season against Everton ion Wednesday evening
Newcastle United winger Christian Atsu started only his second game of the season against Everton ion Wednesday evening

Christian Atsu insists takeover talk will not distract "mentally strong" Newcastle United from the task in-hand when they host Wolves tomorrow afternoon.

Rafa Benitez's head into Sunday's clash at St James's Park on the back of a week that has been dominated by off-the-field matters.

In the midst of everything, the Magpies took to the Premier League field on Wednesday evening and left Goodison Park with a credible point following a 1-1 draw with Everton.

And because of that, the Ghanaian believes the spirit shown on Merseyside proves talk of a potential sale will not affect him and his teammates.

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“The takeover is not our problem," insisted Atsu.

"Our focus is ourselves. We are here to play every game no matter what else is going on. That is our focus.

"We showed that at Everton. We showed that matters outside the game don’t affect us. We are mentally strong and we are focused on winning games.

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"We know this ourselves, we don’t need anyone telling us, we know we have to play football and let our feet do the talking to get results.”

Atsu, named in Benitez's starting 11 for only the second time this season, has watched most of the club's fixtures as substitute so far.

Starting his first game since the 2-0 home defeat to Leicester City in September, the 26-year-old almost marked his return with a late winner, though was twice denied by Jordan Pickford.

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Atsu admitted it's difficult to make an impact off the bench and has targeted nailing down a first-team place ahead of the Wolves clash.

"I was mentally prepared to play in these games," admitted Atsu.

"I am always trying to do something for the team. I had the chances to score, it was unfortunate not to score. I am still very happy I contributed in the performance.

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“Those chances came along, I will watch the video and I will see how I can improve in those situations.

"I think I could have controlled one of them with a better touch and then gone with an different foot. But I am very happy to have got the point.

“It is hard when you are on the bench, you have to work extra hard to be fit when you are called on.

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"I had to do something to stay in the team and I feel like I have done what I can. When players are missing you have to try to stay in the team.

"We are now waiting for Wolves. They are a very good team. We rate them. They want to keep the ball and attack, so it will be difficult but we will have the fans behind us. I am positive we can do everything."