GAEL Bigirimana says Newcastle United need a win at all costs against Brighton and Hove Albion.
The club take on Gus Poyet’s Championship side in a FA Cup third-round tie tomorrow.
Newcastle’s confidence has taken a battering in recent Premier League games.
And Bigirimana, set to start in the absence of African Cup of Nations-bound Cheik Tiote, believes the game has taken on an added significance after a desperate run of results which has left United two points above the relegation zone.
Newcastle were knocked out of the FA Cup by Brighton last season, when Bigirimana was learning his trade at Coventry City.
And having played at the Amex Stadium with his former club, the teenage midfielder knows Alan Pardew’s team is in for another testing afternoon on the South Coast.
“They’ve got good players, and a good team,” Bigirimana told the Gazette.
“It’s a tough game, but we need to win.
“We need the win – we’ve got to go out and win. A win is a win.”
United have a proud history in the FA Cup, but the club’s recent record is poor.
However, Bigirimana insists Newcastle’s players – many of whom didn’t grow up watching it – are still excited by the oldest cup competition in world football.
And Bigirimana, for one, dreams of going all the way to Wembley.
“It’s a cup, which is a big opportunity to get a trophy,” said Bigirimana.
“It’s a massive cup in English football. It’s possible (to win it) – we just have to play with our hearts.
“It’s an exciting cup. If you can take it seriously, it’s achievable.
“It’s something that goes down in history.
“If we can win, it would be a dream come true.
“That’s why you play football – to win medals.
“When you retire, you can look back and say ‘I won this’.”