Newcastle defender Massadio Haidara says that the minimum the players need to do next season is to get promotion at the first attempt.
The 23 year old left-back says that it wasn’t a great season for either the club or himself personally, as injury and relegation came calling.
The jury is still out as to whether Newcastle have anybody good enough to play left-back in the Premier League but between them, Paul Dummett and Massadio Haidara should be more than able to handle the Championship.
In three and a half years the 23 year old full-back has made only 23 Premier League starts for Newcastle, as injuries and up and down form have taken their toll.
Haidara made six league starts early in the season and his final Premier League activity was when he came off the bench against Norwich in October, United winning 6-2.
Injury then brought his season to a halt and the player says that trying to come back too early cost him in the long run, as he was crocked again and didn’t play any part in the relegation run-in.
As for the new season, Massadio Haidara says that it will be touch and go whether he is ready for the new season in 11 weeks time but he is hoping that both he and the club can look forward to better times ahead.
Massadio Haidara talking to the official club website:
“For me personally, and for the Club, it was not a good season but now we have to look forward to next season and try to go up straight away. I think that is the minimum we have to do for the Club.
“For myself, I will try to come back stronger and to be fit for next season.
“I started the first seven games and, while I was a little bit frustrated because the results weren’t good for us, I was happy for myself because I started all the games.
“Then I had the first injury. I tried to come back too quickly, maybe, and I had another injury and then my season was finished.
“I think the second one was the worst because I came back after three months out and I’d worked so hard. I’d done everything I could to make sure I came back as soon as possible but maybe I tried to come back too quickly.
“But I’m more frustrated about the relegation because it’s hard to go down. No one wants to go down but we have to put it behind us.
“Next season we have to be at 100% and be really focused to come straight back up.
The manager (Rafa Benitez) tried to do his best with the players he had.
“I wanted to play. It’s always hard when you can only watch. When you see your team mates in difficulty, you want to try to help the team.
“That’s what I wanted to do. Dummy was injured too so no one really could play left-back and I was close to being ready, so that’s why I pushed too quick and it latest injury) happened again.
“But now it’s in the past and I’ve learnt from my injuries so I won’t make the same mistake again.
“It was hard for me but I always try to keep smiling because I can’t change anything. Now it’s been nearly two months since I had my operation so I have to do some treatment and rest.
“After two months, I can start to do the bike and after three months I can start to go outside, do the gym and run, and everything else to be ready for the pre-season.
“I think towards the end of pre-season, I will be fully fit – then maybe I will need some weeks of training before I play.
“I don’t know if I can start straight away, because it will have been eight or nine months on the sidelines so it’s hard to come back straight away.
“So we’ll see what happens and how I feel, but hopefully for the start of the season I will be fit.”
(In our poll of thousands of fans this week, only 12% thought Massadio Haidara was one of the 10 key Newcastle players needed next season – read the full results HERE)