YOHAN Cabaye says there’s no in-fighting in Newcastle United’s ranks – only a determination to fight relegation.
The build-up to Saturday’s goalless draw against West Ham United was dominated by talk of dressing room unrest.
And Cabaye, the most influential of Newcastle’s large French contingent, today broke his silence on talk of a split.
“In the dressing room, everything is OK,” Cabaye said. “The French players all want to adapt well. We’re all focused together.
“I’m 100 per cent with everyone – I just want to save the club with my team-mates. I want to stay in the Premier League.”
The club is just three points above the Premier League’s drop zone with two games left to play.
And Newcastle’s position became more precarious over the weekend despite the hard-earned point Cabaye and his team took home from Upton Park, with results elsewhere going against the club.
A win for Sunderland against Stoke City tonight would drop Alan Pardew’s side back down to 17th place, and the club could be in the bottom three by the time they face Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road on Sunday.
The build-up to the game was dominated by talk of dressing-room unrest, and West Ham United captain Kevin Nolan – who helped unite Newcastle’s squad in the aftermath of relegation in 2009 – warned of the dangers of player cliques before the match.
Cabaye, however, is adamant there are no divisions behind the scenes.
“We wanted to show we are together,” said the 27-year-old midfielder.
“We’ve stayed focused on being safe and playing in the Premier League next season. That’s the most important thing.
“We know we’re going to play well if we’re focused together and stay together.
“We can’t create cliques – we have to stay focused.
“I think we had a good response form last week, but we didn’t win the game. It’s going to be very important to get three points. It’s only about us.”
Fabricio Coloccini returned from injury and took the captain’s armband from Cabaye, who has skippered the side in his absence.
The defender has been missed over the past two months, and his return was timely.
“Colo’s back as well,” said Cabaye. “It was a good, refreshed team.
The result followed the 6-0 defeat at the hands of Liverpool the previous weekend, and Cabaye felt the team reacted in the right way to that humiliating result.
“I think it was a good draw if we think about the Liverpool game,” he said.
“It was a good response from everyone on the pitch. We had to fight. It’s never easy to play against this team.
“We played well in the first half. There were good things on the pitch. But if we think about the other results, it starts to be hard for us.”
Meanwhile, Pardew angrily denied there was dressing-room disharmony last week, and he felt his team’s performance at Upton Park underlined the togetherness he maintains there is in the squad.
“All week that all these silly rumours about rifts and all it – it was completely evident that wasn’t the case,” he said.
“We have to go to the next game now and hopefully get a win, because it looks like we need a win.”