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Atsu's Newcastle cancel Christmas party to focus on matches

18 December, 2017, 01:17 | Author: Lamar Ellis
  • Bosnian defender Sead Kolasinac listened carefully to instructions given by Arsene Wenger

They were due to celebrate in London after Saturday's trip to Arsenal, but after their 1-0 defeat at the hands of the Gunners, the players have cancelled their end of year party.

Following today's game away at Arsenal, Newcastle face teams in and around them in the table in four of their following five league outings, and Benitez will be hoping that his players' decision to cancel their festivities this year will pay dividends.

"We'll see if we can progress (in) this discussion in a few days". It's a brilliant attitude and a great response but it's not what we need - we need points and we need to start finding a way to win.

"We need to make sure we take care of that responsibility because that is part of playing for the club, not just on the pitch but off it as well". "When you get to this stage of the season..."

Arsenal had not won in December until Ozil's spectacular volley proved enough to earn them three points on Saturday. "West Ham's the next game, and we've got to focus fully on that and make sure we do all we can to go there and get a good result".

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Manager Arsene Wenger made just one change from the side which was held to a 0-0 stalemate at West Ham as club-record signing Alexandre Lacazette returned in attack.

Newcastle improved during the second half, but could not get back on level terms with the hosts.

"Still, though, we stayed in the game, and when you are working as hard as we were working, that means that this team's still fighting".

Wenger was suitably impressed by Maitland-Niles and has backed the England Under-21 worldwide to make a name for himself at the Emirates Stadium in years to come.

"I have said to them maybe later on they could have dinner or whatever in the future when things are going well".

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