MOUSSA Sissoko has hit back at claims that Newcastle United’s season is over – and insisted the Magpies can STILL finish in the top 10.
John Carver’s side are 11th in the Premier League ahead of Sunday’s trip to Everton.
We want to finish in the top 10, so every player stays focused at the training ground and every weekend to do the bestMoussa Sissoko
Newcastle, under pressure from Crystal Palace and West Brom below them, are four points behind 10th-placed West Ham.
Influential midfielder Sissoko says the time to judge the team will be at the end of an up-to-now disappointing and demoralising campaign.
The ambitious 25-year-old – who talked about his desire to play for a “big club” in January – feels “focused” Newcastle can yet finish in the top half of the table.
“The people can talk about us, but we try to do the best every game,” said Sissoko.
“We want to finish in the top 10, so every player stays focused at the training ground and every weekend to do the best.
“We will see where we will be at the end of the season.”
Newcastle were beaten 1-0 by Manchester United in their last outing, with Ashley Young snatching all three points at St James’s Park with a last-minute goal.
The highlight of the match was the return of winger Jonas Gutierrez.
Gutierrez – who was given the all-clear late last year after treatment for cancer – came off the bench to a standing ovation.
Newcastle captain Fabricio Coloccini handed Gutierrez, his close friend and Argentinian countryman, the skipper’s armband given the significance of his first appearance for the club since October 2013.
“It’s emotional for every player and all the people,” recalled France international Sissoko.
“We all know what he has been through. I’m very happy for him and I hope he will show the best for the rest of the season.”