Just like his Manager, Yoan Gouffran doesn’t appear to have been knocked off his stride by the mixture of factors that brought about three defeats in a row/week.
Before Hull, Newcastle had won every match that Gouffran started, although the Frenchman says he wasn’t aware of the statistic until Dwight Gayle pointed it out.
The midfielder/striker thought that Newcastle played well at both Hull and Nottingham Forest, with only bad luck and a decent goalkeeper preventing a win, whilst at the City Ground, Gouffran felt the team were doing well (and leading) until the referee waved his second red card.
Describing it as ‘impossible’ when trying to play 9 v 11, the Newcastle player points out that Steve Martin wasn’t obliged to send off either Shelvey or Dummett, even if he thought they had given away penalties.
After the ‘injustice’ the team felt, Gouffran says there is only one message ahead of Birmingham on Saturday, saying ‘Stay focused is the word’.
As for Rafa Benitez, Gouffran says that rather than continuing his anger from last Friday on the training pitch, the Manager has simply told them to ‘stay together’ and ‘change the bad mood’ against Birmingham.
Yoan Gouffran speaking to the official club website:
“It was a bad week for us.
“I thought against Hull we played well but we have to win, the keeper was good and so we were unlucky.
“Against Nottingham we started the game well but we lost two players in the first half – nine against eleven was hard. We tried to give our best but it is impossible to win.
“When you win the ball (with 9 v 11) you don’t have a solution to play, so we try to keep the score at 1-0 but once they scored their first goal, it was hard to play.”
‘Before those two games you hadn’t been on the losing side this season…?’
“I felt bad because it was my first defeat. Sometimes in football you are lucky to win every game but this was a loss.
“I knew the stat, Dwight (Gayle) told me about it, I did not know before. It’s a good feeling but all my teammates work hard, it is not just that I’m lucky, or when I play we win, it is all the team who do well.”
‘Much more enjoyable this season?’
“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.”
‘Rafa was very angry after Nottingham Forest, what has he been like on the training ground?’
“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.”
‘Can you use the sense of injustice in a good way on Saturday (v Birmingham)?’
“When you were playing, it felt like an injustice.
“When you get a penalty now, sometimes it is not a red card. We were disappointed because we played well.
“Now we just have to concentrate on Birmingham – every week is a tough game and we just want to play well for the fans.
“Stay focused is the word.”