Roger Lemerre has announced his team for the France-Algeria match and you're not in it. With the very good start into the season you've had, did you think you'd be one of the 18?
It was my wife who broke the news to me. I was at the training half of the day and only returned home in the afternoon. In Newcastle everyone was convinced that I'd be picked. But there's no problem, it's not that important. I will continue with the same intensity and try to raise my level of play and then we shall see for the next selections.
Have you ever talked with Roger Lemerre since your arrival in Newcastle?
Not at all. I don't know whether he's been here to see me play but like I said, it's not important.
Are you worried about the remainder of the season which will end with the World Cup?
No, that doesn't matter to me at all. And I don't see why I should get worried. As long as things go well for my club and I can play and enjoy myself there's no problem. I'm not gonna rack my brains over it. The national coach makes his choice and picks his team and I respect his decisions. For me it is not a failure not to be chosen. We have a very important match against Liverpool on Sunday and just like I've been doing since the start of the season, I will give my all to make my team win.
Let's go back to the Premiership and your 1:0 victory over Leicester on Wednesday night. How did the match go?
In comparison with the last weekend and our 3:0 defeat against West Ham it was like day and night. We played really good football. I myself was elected Man of the Match. We're fifth in the table now with Manchester and Arsenal and at the moment things are going pretty well.
Did you have any chances?
I found myself alone in front of the goalie and the moment I was going to shoot I felt my leg being pulled away by a defender. It was a penalty but the ref said nothing. The crowd got a bit noisy... Other than that, I made quite a few passes, I challenged a lot and it was a good game on our side.
The good thing is that you didn't concede a goal.
Absolutely, that is a very good thing. Our defence was much more solid and aggressive and retrieved a lot of balls.
Now you just have to confirm that against Liverpool. There's one top game after the other in England!
It doesn't stop. That's what's so great, you meet high-level teams on a quite regular basis. Anyway, we prepared like we did against Manchester. We're playing at home with the objective to take all three points in order to stay in the top group and if we win we can leave Liverpool behind us in the table. That match will be very important. Cheers, until Monday.