LOIC Remy is confident he can force his way back into the international reckoning for France – by hitting the goal trail for Newcastle United.
Remy is in contention to make his first start for the Magpies at Aston Villa tomorrow.
The 26-year-old set up Hatem Ben Arfa’s late winner against Fulham late last month on his debut.
And Remy, signed on a season-long loan from QPR, is now fully fit after recovering from the calf problem that saw him miss Newcastle’s opening three games.
Remy has not played for France – who are battling defending champions Spain for automatic qualification to next summer’s World Cup finals in Brazil – since March.
But he knows national coach Didier Deschamps is watching him closely at Newcastle.
“Yes, it’s in my mind, but I’m focused firstly on Newcastle United,” Remy said.
“I want to play and find my best sensations here.
“I’m here to do a good job. If I do, I will be able to get back to the national team with France.”
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has a number of players in his squad who are hopeful of going to Brazil, and Remy says there’s a determination in the dressing room ahead of a long season for club and country.
“We have no reason to think of anything bad or fear anybody,” he added.
“We have a lot of players who could be playing in the World Cup finals.
“For us, that is a good thing. We are at a very good level.”
Newcastle fought a season-long battle against relegation last season, and the club’s lack of transfer-market activity – Remy was the only summer arrival – has not filled supporters with confidence about the team’s Premier League prospects.
While Pardew’s squad lacks depth, the talent of the likely starting line-up at Villa Park isn’t in question.
And Remy is upbeat about Newcastle’s chances of competing for a top-10 finish this term.
“I’m very optimistic about it,” he said. “Last season was difficult for this club, but this season everybody wants to help the club grow again.
“We can do a good job together. You saw that in the last game against Fulham in the second half – we never stopped fighting, and we won the game.
“It was a sign for me that made we think we can do well this season. We have a big chance this season.
“It will be a difficult game (at Villa), but we have that big chance because of the amount of quality in this team. My team-mates here are focused, and on the same wavelength as me.”
Remy adjusted to the pace and power of the Premier League last season after his January move to QPR, who were relegated to the Championship despite spending huge sums of money.
The Frenchman admits the competitive nature of the division took so some getting used to given the quality at both ends of the table.
“Any team can beat anybody here,” said Remy. “In France you can have PSG and the team at the bottom, and there’s only ever one winner.
“Here, I was surprised last year because the game is a contest for the whole 90 minutes. You can concede at anytime of score at anytime.
“The game is never safe, and you are never out of harm. Everybody always wants a fight.”
And Remy, it seems, is up for the fight.