Black Stars attacker Christian Atsu played for 44 minutes for Newcastle as they beat Wolves 1-0 to go back to the top of the English Championship on Saturday.
The match was Atsu’s first since his return from the African Nations Cup in Gabon where Ghana finished fourth.
He replaced eventual match-winner Aleksandar Mitrovic after 46 minutes and after the match, Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez revealed that Atsu was brought on as a precaution to save Mitrovic from being sent-off as he had been yellow-carded.
The match was Atsu’s 17th of the season (and he has scored 3 goals) since he joined the club on loan from Chelsea and he has expressed his desire to play more games so he can replicate his good form for Ghana at Newcastle.
“It is a confidence that you have. In the national team I play 10 games [in a row] and they trust me. Sometimes it is difficult to come to the club side and play and get to the rhythm of the game immediately”, he said as quoted by online portal ChronicleLive.
He went on to say: “I need to keep working hard. I play better in the national side but I hope to change that. I don’t think I am anywhere near my best [for Newcastle] yet. I can keep improving. I haven’t played one of my best games for Newcastle yet, and I am working as hard as I can to be able to do that. The fans have shown their love for me – it is up to me to pay them back on the field.”
Atsu’s contributions have helped Newcastle go to the top of the Championship on 65 points; one more than Brighton who are second.
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(Via: CitiFM Online Ghana)