Loic Remy believes hard work is the key ingredient behind Newcastle United’s recent form, but admitted his own tiredness threatened to bring it to an end.
The Magpies have won their last three games to move up to eighth, a win away from the Champions League places.
The French striker’s goals in each of them have been instrumental, but Remy believes their work ethic has been important too. Newcastle quickly moved into a two-goal lead at home to relegation-threatened Norwich City on Saturday, only for a lapse in concentration by Remy to set up a nervous last ten minutes.
The hosts prevailed, though, running out 2-1 winners.
“We had to work hard and we put pressure on them at the start, which is why we scored very quickly,” explained the France international, who took just two minutes to find the net.
“However, we also conceded and it was a little bit my fault as I didn’t stay on the post.
“We have to be careful about these sorts of situations, all the rest though was very good.
“I think I can do more, I’ve just been back with the national team and I was a little bit tired.” Norwich had late chances to add to Leroy Fer’s late goal and pull off a surprise result.
Like Yohan Cabaye and Moussa Sissoko, who also played at St James’ Park on Saturday, Remy was part of the France squad which played a two-legged World Cup qualifying play-off against Ukraine.
Les Bleus lost the first game 2-0, but turned the tie around to win 3-2 on aggregate and book their place at next summer’s finals in Brazil.
Remy has been a revelation since joining on a season-long loan from Queens Park Rangers, a club he joined in preference to Newcastle in January. His record now stands at eight goals in ten appearances since reversing that decision.
Until a permanent arrangement can be reached with the West London club, Newcastle will be nervous that every goal the 26-year-old scores pushes up the price and attracts the interest of richer and more glamorous rivals.
Remy yesterday became the latest Newcastle player to be touted for a move away from the club by the Sports Direct News website. It reported that Arsenal were the latest Premier League club to show an interest in the player.
That the website belongs to Newcastle owner Mike Ashley’s company has not been lost on disgruntled Magpies supporters.
Remy’s fellow Frenchman Mathieu Debuchy missed Saturday’s game through suspension after picking up five yellow cards this season.
The right-back will be hoping to regain his place at home to West Bromwich Albion at the weekend after Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa impressed in his absence.
“This happened to me in France as well,” the former Lille defender said of his suspension.
“Bookings are something you have to be careful about.
“At the same time, my style of game is to go for tackles, so it’s a balance.
“There’s a huge difference between the French and English leagues.
“The English one is much more physical, but I prefer that.”