YOAN Gouffran fears he won’t break into France’s World Cup squad – despite his starring role at Newcastle United.
The forward has impressed during the club’s three-game winning streak.
Gouffran scored what turned out to be Newcastle’s winning goal in last weekend’s 2-1 victory over Norwich City.
And United manager Alan Pardew feels the former France Under-21 international has an outside chance of forcing his way into Didier Deschamps’s World Cup plans and joining club-mates Yohan Cabaye, Loic Remy, Moussa Sissoko and Mathieu Debuchy in Brazil.
Gouffran, however, has played down talk of an international call-up.
And the 27-year-old has insisted he’s only thinking about Newcastle’s Premier League campaign, with West Bromwich Albion’s visit to St James’s Park on Saturday at the forefront of his thoughts.
Asked if he felt he could break into the France squad, Gouffran said: “I don’t think so.
“Every game, it’s the same players. There are 20 or 21 players, and every time it’s the same players.
“I’m happy to play for Newcastle. I focus on Newcastle. If I play well, I’m happy, and if we win, I’m happy.”
Pardew, however, believes Gouffran, Hatem Ben Arfa (also France) and Vurnon Anita (Holland) have a genuine chance of going to Brazil.
Speaking last week, Pardew said: “We could get three or four others to it who haven’t been involved yet. Gouffran, Anita, Hatem – they’re all going to be desperate to go.
“The most important thing is to consistently play well in the first team.”
Gouffran and his team-mates couldn’t be more confident ahead of the West Brom game, and the challenge for Pardew’s eighth-placed side is to make it four wins in a row – and further climb the table.
“The last three games have been great for us,” Gouffran said.
“We played very well, and now we have confidence. It’s good for us, and we have to continue with that.
“We have to win this game because it will be important for the rest of the season.”
Gouffran, signed from Bordeaux in January, has scored four league and cup goals so far this season. Only on-loan Loic Remy – who has netted eight times in the league – has more goals than him.