Yoan Gouffran is finally enjoying his football again – after coming in from the cold at Newcastle United.
Gouffran was restricted to just eight Premier League appearances for the club last season.
Last year was really bad for me, I didn’t play a lot. Now I enjoy it, and ready to play, score and win games.Yoan Gouffran
But only three players have made more starts for the Championship leaders than Gouffran.
United manager Rafa Benitez – whose side take on Birmingham City at St James’s Park tomorrow – turned to the forward after his team lost their first two fixtures.
Reflecting on his changing fortunes at Newcastle, Gouffran said: “Last year was really bad for me.
“I didn’t play a lot. I was disappointed, because I was not in the squad, but I kept working hard.
“When the manager then asked me, I said ‘I’m ready to play’, because I had been waiting for that. Now I enjoy it, and ready to play, score and win games.”
Benitez was furious at the actions of Nottingham Forest midfielder Henri Lansbury during his team’s 2-1 defeat last Friday night.
Referee Stephen Martin sent off Jonjo Shelvey and Paul Dummett for incidents involving Lansbury during an incident-packed first half at the City Ground.
Forest came from behind to beat United, whose lead at the top of the Championship has been cut to a point ahead of the Birmingham game.
The red cards shown to Shelvey and Dummett have since been overturned.
And forward Gouffran has revealed what United’s manager said to his players on the training ground in the wake of the Forest game.
“He just says to us that we have to carry on, to work hard, stay together, stay focused to the next game – change the bad mood,” said Gouffran.
Asked if the players were driven by the injustice of the dismissals, he added: “We were disappointed because we played well.
“Now we just have to concentrate on Birmingham. We just want to play well for the fans.”