In an interview with the Chronicle, Mo Diame has spoken about his hard times in football and about his time on Tyneside so far.
About his first professional contract, with Lens, Diame said: “It was a big achievement for me. I was playing football to become professional. I started pre-season and they told me to go and do this medical stuff. After the tests I was told not to go back to them in pre-season. I had a season where I didn’t play because I was waiting for the results for these tests.
“They told me it was something from birth and I was shocked. I never felt anything. Not even a fast heartbeat or anything like this. I felt healthy and nothing bad. I wasn’t interested. I decided to continue playing and to play my game.
Diame, however, was quick to put this behind him, adding: “I have never looked back from that. I have never been worried about it.”
He then went on to reminisce about joining Newcastle United: “I remember that well. I remember being in the hospital and I saw this woman, who was a very nice person, sat next to me. She asked for a photo and I said ‘Of course!’
“Ten minutes later it was all over Twitter and everyone was talking about it! It was a great moment and luckily nothing bad happened because of it, so it was OK.
“It was nice and a good introduction to Newcastle. Everyone wants to speak to you and it’s good.”
Diame continued by discussing his current form, saying: “You’re always happy when you’re scoring goals and winning games. I’m the first one to know when I’m not playing well.
“I don’t need people or the manager telling me I’m not doing well. I know that in football you have to keep working and when you work, things come from it. I just wanted to keep working and now I feel a little bit better.
“I’m happy with this – I need to keep working though.”
“What’s changed? It’s the work,”
“I just push and push myself. I’m working harder to do better and do the things the manager asks of me. I’m quite happy that’s the case,”