MAPOU Yanga-Mbiwa could only watch in frustration as Newcastle United lost the Wear-Tyne derby.
And the defender, suspended for the Sunderland game, is desperate to return to the field against Manchester City in tonight’s Capital One Cup tie at St James’s Park.
Yanga-Mbiwa, dismissed for hauling down Luis Suarez on his last appearance against Liverpool, travelled to Wearside with his team-mates for Sunday’s derby.
The 24-year-old admits it was “hard” watching helplessly from the sidelines.
“I travelled with and stayed with team for two days to help the group to do well, but we lost,” Yanga-Mbiwa told SportMail.
“It is hard watching. I like to play and to help my squad mates.”
Yanga-Mbiwa is expected to return to the starting XI for club’s fourth-round tie against Man City.
“Now we play Man City, and we must recover quickly to try to forget the last game,” he said.
“I want to play well and help the squad do well. We must go in front.”
Yanga-Mbiwa was in the United side beaten 4-0 by Man City at the club’s first Premier League game this season.
United will face a different team – Manuel Pellegrini will make a number of changes – but given the club’s resources, their task won’t be any easier.
Yanga-Mbiwa, however, is confident Newcastle have learnt from their experience at the City of Manchester Stadium.
“We need to play and remember the first game with Man City,” said the France international.
“That helps us do well to prove to ourselves and the fans that this was a mistake. We must learn from it.
“If we play well we can go through. We all want to do well to help ourselves to move up and continue to do well.”
The domestic cups aren’t a “priority” for United’s hierarchy given the over-riding importance of staying in the Premier League.
However, Yanga-Mbiwa insists the club’s players are keen for a cup run.
“We are Newcastle United,” he said. “We need to play well against clubs in the league, but we must also try to win cups.
“We want to go to the quarter-finals.”