YOHAN Cabaye has reiterated his commitment to Newcastle United ahead of his European debut for the club.
The midfielder is expected to start against Bordeaux at St James’s Park tonight.
Cabaye, so far, has sat out Newcastle’s Europa League fixtures.
But United manager Alan Pardew’s ready to unleash the France international on his countrymen.
Cabaye, in an interview with a French TV station, claimed this week that he had turned down a summer “offer” from Tottenham Hotspur, though Pardew denied the club had bid for the 26-year-old.
And speaking ahead of the Bordeaux game, Cabaye reaffirmed his happiness on Tyneside.
“I want to be here, and I’m happy,” Cabaye told the Gazette. “I’m pleased to be here playing for Newcastle – I want to play for this club.
“I’m here for the same reasons as last year. We have the same team, so I think we can have a really good season this year as well.”
The Bordeaux game is followed by another home match, with Manchester United visiting St James’s Park on Sunday.
Cabaye scored a stunning free-kick in the corresponding fixture last season – a 3-0 win for Newcastle – and he’s relishing a big week on Tyneside.
And the former Lille playmaker – who admitted to being “fatigued” after his summer involvement in Euro 2012 – is adamant he’s now fully fit and ready to rediscover the form he showed last season.
“I want to play in both games, but the most important is Bordeaux,” said Cabaye.
“We think about Man United later. We have to be ready to fight. We want to win the game to be on top of the group.”
“It is extra games for us, but we fought for (European football) all last season.
“We must play with conviction and give 100 per cent in this competition.
“We have players on the pitch who can win. Every player that starts has to fight to win every game in the Europa League.”
Cabaye, however, is wary of Bordeaux, who opened their Europa League group stage campaign with an impressive 4-0 win over Club Brugge, who face Maritimo tonight.
“They are a good team full of good players,” he said. “They are doing well in the French League and have a good manager.
“I have mixed memories of playing against Bordeaux. I scored one of my first goals against them for Lille. I have more good memories than bad.
“But they are hard to beat. They can play with two defensive systems, so they can make it hard.
“They have a lot of good players. The manager Francis Gillot did not start well, but now every player knows what the manager wants from him.
“For us, it’s tough game, but we feel we can do something to win the game. We have to play properly.”
Meanwhile, Pardew – and the club – played down Cabaye’s comments about Tottenham’s interest in him.
However, Pardew acknowledged success on the field would help United keep the likes of Cabaye, Papiss Demba Cisse, Cheik Tiote and Demba Ba at St James’s Park.
“Firstly, there was no offer from Spurs, so Yohan didn’t get that opportunity,” said Pardew.
“But, of course, the likes of Yohan and one or two other players are going to be courted by some of the top sides, that’s natural.
“What is important is the development of players – it’s important then that we give them a platform for success.
“The only way we can keep the likes of Yohan, Cisse, Tiote and Ba is to bring success.”
The Gazette’s Europa League coverage is in association with UTS Engineering Ltd. http://www.uts-ltd.com/