After seeing his form dramatically increase over recent weeks, Mo Diame has put it all down to nothing more than hard work and determination – with the Senegalese midfielder also hoping to add more goals to his game after getting on the scoresheet at Palace on Sunday.
Since being sarcastically applauded off after a shocking home display against Everton in early December, he’s been a changed player. He’s bagged two goals away from home, looked far more energetic, closed down, won his battles, been strong in the tackle and has also been pinging around some passes with real confidence.
It’s great to see, especially from a player whose generally failed to deliver after signing from Hull a year and a half ago. Fans branded him one of the worst players they’d seen at the club just months ago, however a few will be eating their words on current form.
Whilst his performances in general over the last 18 months have not been up to the standard we expected, one thing Diame has always been is honest. Actions speak louder than words, but he’s always admitted in the past when he’s not been good enough.
Here’s what he had to say when asked what the secret was behind his sudden rise to form at St James’ Park:
“Nothing, just the work – I’ve been working hard to get back to the player I want to be. That’s it, just the work.
“Of course, it’s what I want to do and what I have to do.
“If Newcastle signed me, it was to have this kind of performance, so it’s important to show I can stay at this level or give more.”
After scoring his second goal of the season at Palace on Sunday, Diame then admitted that getting on the scoresheet more often is something he’s now looking to add to his game:
“It’s always great to score goals, so yes, it’s a great feeling, but it would be better if we won this game.”
“It’s something I want to add to my game”
“It’s nice to have this feeling, and I hope I will score more.”
Mo then explained why the draw was actually a precious point in the end, realising that it was a game Palace could’ve very easily won in the end.
“It’s a point, and we need points to stay up,”
“You always have to take it as a good point.”
“If I have to be honest, it’s a fair result, because I think in the second half they could’ve won this game. I think it’s a fair result.”
Finally, Diame spoke about the 12 games to come, stating that we must stay focused and do nothing but stick together and fight in the remaining games to play:
“Recently, we have had a lot of similar games that we are winning then after we draw at the end.
“It’s all about focus, staying together and keeping the shape of the team.
“It’s hard. It’s going to be difficult to learn, but we know that. We have to keep going.”
“We have 12 games, and we need to keep going and fighting. That’s it. Nothing else.”
A great interview from Mo.
Hats off to the man. He’s always spoke well, but is now doing the talking on the pitch, having turned into one of our top and most consistent performers in recent weeks.
Long may it continue – he’s even got his own chant now!
— Nufc Chants 🎶 (@toonchants) February 1, 2018