ALTHOUGH pleased to have “made a difference” for Newcastle United on Saturday, Gabriel Obertan does not think a 1-0 win over Queen’s Park Rangers has lifted the pressure on the club.
A game featuring two of the bottom five was much-hyped, even Magpies manager Alan Pardew suggesting it was a “must-win” for his out-of-form side.
Newcastle did just that, but only after Obertan’s introduction on the hour.
Shola Ameobi scored the goal, set up by fellow substitute Sylvain Marveaux, but Obertan (pictured above) did most to change the feel of the match.
The winger said: “It is quite often the case subs can turn a game. I didn’t create an assist or score but I think I made a difference.
“I haven’t trained for six weeks and even though I have not done much in that time I feel quite fit.
“We have not played well for the last four games and I guess I am another player trying to get into the starting XI.”
Newcastle’s Boxing Day opponents are Manchester United, but the Frenchman will try to ignore the sentiment of returning to his previous club because he believes his current side have a job to do.
He admitted: “There is always a bit of extra motivation when you play against your old team.
“It was the same for me against Bordeaux. We need the points so I will have to forget about going back.
“After what we did last season people have high expectations of us. The pressure is still on us.
“We started Saturday’s game right and we played well overall.
“The goal came a bit late so it was a bit difficult for the fans but there was no anxiety among the players.”
Obertan has spent the last six weeks recovering from a toe operation.
He added: “They took the nail off my toe. I had to wait for it to grow back.
“I picked up an infection last season against Stoke.
“The infection cleared but I had dried blood between the nail and my skin. When it grew back over it was just creating pressure. I played for a year like that.
“I was having to go in the ice bath after every game and dip my toe in there. I wanted to have the operation in the summer, but I couldn’t wait any longer.”