Yoan Gouffran’s adamant he is good enough to help Newcastle United climb out of trouble.
The forward made his first Premier League start of the season in last weekend’s 6-1 defeat to Manchester City.
I’m 29, and I know I can play in the Premier LeagueYoan Gouffran
Gouffran was used out of position as a defensive midfielder with Jack Colback sidelined with an injury.
Newcastle led at the Etihad Stadium through an Aleksandar Mitrovic goal, but City, inspired by five-goal striker Sergio Aguero, blew Steve McClaren’s side away early in the second half.
And the result left the club bottom of the league for the international break, with Norwich City next up at St James’s Park on October 18.
“It would have been better to play again quickly, but it’s the international break,” said Gouffran. “We have to work. We have two weeks to work to try to get the first win.”
United’s meek capitulation after a positive first-half performance angered fans, and Gouffran admits he is at a loss to explain what happened after the break.
“It was really difficult,” said the 29-year-old, who had started the season on the fringes.
“I think we played very well in the first half. We had some chances to score more goals, and we didn’t score.
“I don’t know what changed in the second half. We didn’t defend together.
“Aguero is a very good player, but if we had played like we did in the first half, he wouldn’t have scored those goals. It’s really difficult to explain.”
Gouffran struggled for form last season as the club battled relegation, and his second-half performance at the Etihad Stadium attracted criticism from fans.
But the former France Under-21 international, signed from Bordeaux in January 2013, feels he still has a lot to offer the club.
“It was difficult for me, because sometimes I was not in the squad,” said Gouffran. “It was difficult for me, but I worked in training and when Jack was injured the manager told me I would play.
“I was focused. It can be hard mentally (when you don’t play), but I am professional and have to be ready to play.
“I have to wait for opportunities. I’m 29, and I know I can play (in the Premier League).
“You have to respect the choice of the manager.”