YOAN Gouffran is determined to keep his Newcastle United place – as he is only happy when he starting games.
The French striker has been in and out of Alan Pardew’s side this season.
And the 27-year-old – who has scored two goals this term and started the Magpies’ last game, the 2-1 win over Cardiff City earlier this month – hopes to face Liverpool at St James’s Park tomorrow (12.45pm).
However, Pardew has Hatem Ben Arfa, left out at Cardiff after two anonymous performances, pushing for a recall.
“I haven’t played all the games – sometimes I am on the bench,” Gouffran said.
“As a player, you are only happy if you play.
“When I play, I want to score and play well.”
Gouffran joined Newcastle from Bordeaux in January, with the move having been brought forward given the club’s plight near the foot of the Premier League.
And his versatility has proved a strength for Pardew.
Gouffran has demonstrated he is much more than a squad player, with his ability backed up by application.
“Sometimes I play as a striker, and sometimes I play as a No.10 or No.11,” he said.
“It’s not a problem. I want to play and give the best I can.”
Gouffran, a former France Under-21 international, came off the bench in Newcastle’s 6-0 home defeat to Liverpool in April.
Liverpool are level on points with league leaders Arsenal this season, but Gouffran believes Newcastle can upset the odds at St James’s Park.
“It will be a big game,” said Gouffran. “We are ready to play.
“It was a bad game (last season). On Saturday, we want to change the result for the fans.
“Last year it was a bad day for every player. This year we want to win.
“We want to show our quality this time and win the game.”
United are 11th in the Premier League table, and Gouffran is looking for the team to break into the top 10.
“The start of the season was difficult because we lost 4-0 at City,” said Gouffran.
“Afterwards, we won some games. We also lost points against Hull City and Everton. We played very badly.
“But this season I think we can be in the top 10 if we play well.”
Pardew praised Gouffran in his pre-match Press conference.
“He’s a wholehearted player, and Newcastle fans admire that,” said the manager.
“He’s exciting when he’s up and running.
“But he does really graft, win, lose or draw.”