Mohamed Diame has admitted to harbouring a ‘bad feeling’ before Newcastle faced Manchester United after the Magpies slipped into the Premier League’s bottom three.
Huddersfield’s surprise home win over Bournemouth meant Rafa Benitez’s men kicked off the match in the relegation zone and knew they had to collect three points in order to escape – which United managed to do courtesy of Matt Ritchie’s 65th minute goal.
That 1-0 victory propelled Newcastle up to 13th in the table and into a position of relative comfort ahead of the trip to the South Coast to take on Bournemouth a week on Saturday.
But the alternative scenario of spending the next two weeks stewing in the drop zone was playing on Diame’s mind and the Senegalese midfielder admits he and his teammates were under pressure to achieve a good result against Jose Mourinho’s side.
“It was the most important, maybe, because we knew the result of Huddersfield, so the pressure was on us before the game,” the 30-year-old told the Shields Gazzette.
“It was a massive three points, to be honest, because we have two weeks without another game.
“Even without this (Huddersfield) result, we knew we had to do everything to win, but being in the bottom three before the game was a bad feeling, so this is what we had to do.”
Newcastle now sit two points and five places above the relegation places with a testing run of fixtures, including trips to Tottenham and Liverpool, on the horizon.