It turns out Abdoulaye Faye was like lots of Newcastle fans after last weekâ€™s horror show against Portsmouth.
Faye describes todayâ€™s meeting with Sunderland as the biggest club game of his career.
One reason is just because of the rivalry between the two clubs, but he also wants to recover from the terrible game against Portsmouth, over which he has had sleepless nights in the last week.
Abdoulaye Faye – sleepless night’s over the horror of Portsmouth game
Faye talked to the Newcastle Evening Chronicle this morning:
â€œIt was very difficult to recover from what happened against Portsmouth, it was a terrible game, Iâ€™d never played in a game like that before, it was horrible.â€
â€œI couldnâ€™t get it out of my head for ages, I didnâ€™t sleep properly for two nights, I kept seeing the goals. It was like â€˜Oh my Godâ€™, weâ€™ve played like that in front of 52,000 people at home.â€
â€œIt was a nightmare for me. But Iâ€™m over it now. It took me a couple of days, but itâ€™s good weâ€™ve got a game like Saturdayâ€™s to look ahead to. Itâ€™s a derby, itâ€™s a massive game and it means so much to Newcastle United football club.â€
â€œIt will be the biggest derby game Iâ€™ve ever played in and itâ€™s probably the biggest game Iâ€™ve ever played at club level. I was supposed to have two days off, but I didnâ€™t want to stay at home. Iâ€™ve come into training to work in the gym because Iâ€™ve got too much excitement in me to not train.â€
Well, itâ€™s good that Faye fully understands just how unacceptable last weekâ€™s performance was for multiple reasons.
Although the Senegalese international has played in several big games at international level, he has never seen anything like the passion which surrounds todayâ€™s Tyne-Wear derby, which is unique in England, and always has been. Abdoulaye continued:
â€œWhen I was at Bolton, we didnâ€™t have a game like this one,â€ he said. â€œIt was very different playing at Bolton to Newcastle, it isnâ€™t just the derby game, itâ€™s the fact the whole city is interested in football. They go crazy when you lose here, but at Bolton, it was more relaxed.
â€œBolton also didnâ€™t have a rival like Sunderland. Newcastle and Sunderland are two big cities so close together, it is very different to anything Iâ€™ve experienced before.”
“I didnâ€™t go out after the Portsmouth game, I didnâ€™t want to see anyone, but I went into town on Wednesday and everyone I met, all they could talk about was the derby and how we must beat Sunderland. I enjoy that passion from the fans and I hope we can make them proud again on Saturday.
â€œItâ€™s so important to the supporters to beat Sunderland and weâ€™re all ready for it.
â€œThe Portsmouth game is forgotten. It would be bad for confidence if we kept thinking about last weekend the whole time, we are concentrating on putting things right.â€
Faye has been a mini revelation at Newcastle. When he was signed most of us thought he would be a good utility player for us since he can play midfield, central defense and at full-back. But Faye has forced himself into the team and has played uncompromising football at the center of Newcastle’s defense. It’s also clear that his heading ability is just one of his many strengths. It’s another good buy by Big Sam, but now we need Faye to have a big game today because we badly need all 3 points.
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