Newcastle defender Mapou Yanga-Mwiba vows to bring winning mentality

MAPOU Yanga-Mwiba has pledged to bring a winning mentality to Newcastle - and end their long wait without a trophy.

The 23-year-old defender is used to success, having led Montpellier to a shock French league title last season.

And while he joins Newcastle with the club battling at the wrong end of the Premier League table, Yanga-Mwiba is determined to help his new club to silverware.

“Having won the French League last season, I never want to find myself settling for second place or third place – I always want to be the very best,” he said.

“That is what I learned in France, and that is what I intend to carry to Newcastle.

“I want to be positive, and if we all are we can do very well.”

The fact that Yanga-Mbiwa has chosen to sign for Newcastle represents something of a coup for the Magpies, given the likes of AC Milan and Arsenal had also been linked with the French star.

But he added: “Compared to the other clubs, Newcastle showed that they wanted me here.

“They took real interest in me as a player and it really touched me to see they wanted me with open arms. That’s why I chose here.”

Yanga-Mwiba admits he can’t wait to run out in front of 52,000 geordies at St James’s Park in his first home game.

And the centre-half says he is ready for the intense fervour of playing for the club’s passionate fans.

“There is a lot of sport that goes on in Montpellier as well, but I know that definitely in Newcastle everybody loves football.

“People are always talking about it in this city from what I’ve heard.

“I know it is going to be football, football, football here.

“Football is my second religion too.

“It is really a pleasure to be here and be able to discover the league from here.”

Yanga-Mwiba will don the No13 shirt, after revealing that it will remind him of his home town of Marseille.

“In France it can be looked at as a lucky number or an unlucky number,” he said. “I take it as a positive number. It will bring me luck.

“I am from just outside Marseille and each department (county) all have numbers, and mine was 13.

“It was the reason why I took it.”