Newcastle fans got their first look at Christian Atsu on Saturday afternoon but the overall performance and result overshadowed his home debut.
Following on from a decent showing from the bench at QPR when he created Aleksandar Mitrovic’ goal, in difficult circumstances (two down) the Chelsea loan player showed against Wolves some glimpses of real potential.
As for the Newcastle player himself, he said ‘It’s unfortunate that we lost today’s game, but the next game is coming…’, with Wolves visiting once again on Tuesday night in the league cup.
Christian Atsu will almost certainly make his first start and yesterday he was one of the few who showed an ability to go past his man and also looked tidy in possession overall.
The winger says that Rafa Benitez talked to the players after the defeat and that they ‘have to have the mentality to win the next game’.
Obviously Newcastle fans want to get into the next round of the cup anyway but it is common sense as well that a victory would be a big help in preparing for another key Championship match, away at Aston Villa next Saturday.
Christian Atsu talking to the club’s official website:
“I made my (home) debut but we lost the game,we were fighting to win in front of our fans but we have to be mentally strong.
“It was great to make my home debut, they are fantastic fans and I’m happy I made my home debut, but right now we have to focus on the next game, which is what is important now.
“It’s good to play in front of our fans. It’s unfortunate that we lost today’s game, but the next game is coming and we want to make them happy.
“Everyone is down after the game, but the manager spoke with us and we have to have the mentality to win the next game, which is important. We learn from our mistakes, and we have to give our best for the fans because they deserve it.
“This is football, and this is what the Championship is about. Each and every day you have to focus and work so hard, because if you lose concentration, you pay for it.
“This is where we need the players to be mentally strong. When you play for a big club like Newcastle, these kind of situations will come your way, but that’s why we are here – to deal with it. We are all focussed on the next game.
“Cup games are not like the league that we are playing in. If you don’t score, you’re going out, so it’s very important that we win. It’s a must-win game. We want to stay in the cup.
“To beat someone two times (in consecutive matches) is difficult but we will learn from our mistakes. We are going to play against them on Tuesday and it’s another chance for us to prove, on the pitch in front of our fans, that we can win.
“You cannot deal with the past, you cannot change the past. Right now, we have to focus on the next game. We can make a better future, which is more important.”
“I’m really happy at the club. Now it’s for me to do my job. I’m happy that I played at St. James Park and I’m hoping and looking forward to the next game.”
(To read the instant Newcastle fan/writer reaction to today’s match go HERE)
(To view our interactive player ratings and add your own marks out of 10 for each player, go HERE)