Ben Arfa’s got victory on the menu

COOKING UP A STORM ... Hatem Ben Arfa hopes to be on fire in the derby.
COOKING UP A STORM ... Hatem Ben Arfa hopes to be on fire in the derby.

HATEM Ben Arfa’s looking to cook up a Wear-Tyne derby win for Newcastle United’s fans.

Ben Arfa and his team-mates take on Sunderland at the Stadium of Light tomorrow.

And the in-form forward says there’s been no escape from the game over the past week, whether he’s been in the canteen or in the city.

“Everyone in the club, even the kitchen, has told me ‘now you have to score’, and ‘now you have to win’,” Ben Arfa told the Gazette.

“It’s the biggest game for Newcastle this season. For the last week, every time I go into town, people have talked just about this game.

“I’m looking forward to playing this game. I’m very happy to play this game.

“I’m sure every player wants to win this game for the fans. I think we have very good players in the squad.

“We have very good players. On the pitch, everyone wants to do very well in this game.

“All the fans want to play this game, but they can’t, and we going to give all our energy for this game.

“We are confident, because we know we have very good players in our squad. But in the Premier League, we have to win to get more confidence. In the last few games, we didn’t take a lot of points.

“In the next three points we have to get our confidence back.”

Ben Arfa came off the bench in the last game between the two clubs – the 1-1 draw at St James’s Park in March – and the France international’s looking forward to experiencing the atmosphere at the Stadium of Light.

“Last year I played one half. I felt the atmosphere was very great, not like other games,” added Ben Arfa.

“I’ve never played in Sunderland before, so I’ll see what happens there.

“But I think it’s going to be very hard. The fans from Sunderland are going to make a lot of noise.”

Ben Arfa played in the fierce games between Marseille and Paris Saint-Germain during his time at the Stade Velodrome.

However, given the proximity of Newcastle and Sunderland, the 25-year-old believes the North East rivalry is even more intense.

“It’s a similar atmosphere, but I think it’s more intense here, because the cities are next to each other,” he said. “I think it’s amazing here.”

Twitter: @milesstarforth