Christian Atsu urges calm at Newcastle United despite drop into relegation zone
Winger Christian Atsu has called for calm at Newcastle United, despite the Magpies' slide into the Premier League drop zone.
Times are uncertain at St James’s Park heading into the festive period, with takeover talk still rumbling on, the Tynesiders on a run of eight losses in nine and much-needed transfer spending far from guaranteed.
But, even with all of that in the background, Ghanaian wideman Atsu says the squad remain focused on the job at hand.
And ahead of Saturday’s vital trip to a reviving West Ham, Atsu says he believes there is enough quality in the Magpies’ squad, when fully fit, to more than hold their own this season.
“We have to keep calm. We have many games coming up in December and January,” he said. “I am very happy that we have a full squad. We will keep working hard like before.
“We have improved and I believe we will keep improving. I am sure we will get out of this situation.”
With the winter window set to open a week on Monday, talk across Tyneside has already switched to how much boss Rafa Benitez will get to spend.
Without a takeover, or agreement in principle, it is difficult to how the Spaniard will get much cash to spend – especially with owner Mike Ashley’s insistence on setting budgets based on fees with wages included.
Benitez is keen to add a striker to his ranks, as well as a left-back, No 10 and potentially a keeper or central midfielder.
But even without significant strengthening Atsu thinks Newcastle can stay up.
“We were good at the start of the league,” he said.
“Maybe we are unlucky or maybe we are doing something wrong. We have also had injuries. I believe in the squad and the team.
“The players we have we know we can overcome.”
Newcastle visit David Moyes’ born-again West Ham with just one point from their last nine games, thanks to a come-from-behind 2-2 draw at West Brom.
Striker Joselu admits that Newcastle’s predicament is far from perfect.
But the Spaniard thinks there were enough positives to take from last weekend’s 1-0 loss at Arsenal to take on the Hammers with some optimism.
“It is very, very important. We need to take the three points we need to win,” he said. “We know that it is difficult because the situation is not good.
“The team, the club staff, we are all together. We keep fighting for the three points.
Reflecting on last week’s defeat, Joselu added: “We have to keep going and take the character from the second half and for sure the points will come.”