Newcastle Midfielder Enjoying Playing in Deeper Role Following Rafa Benitez Experiment in Friendly
Mo Diame has admitted that he has enjoyed playing in a deeper role in the centre of the park during Newcastle's pre-season, in an interview with nufc.co.uk.
Manager Rafa Benitez has been tinkering with his side's formation in the build up to the Magpie's return to the Premier League, and Diame has revealed that he feels comfortable playing in a more defensive-minded position.
“It was tiring, but I feel OK," Diame said after his team's 2-1 loss against Bundesliga outfit Mainz on Saturday. “I am playing in the middle – where I like to play – so I am trying to enjoy my football.
“I am happy to help the team, and I am just trying to get myself ready for the start of the season.”
The Senegalese midfielder played for an hour alongside Jack Colback, with Siem de Jong operating as the number 10 just behind striker Aleksander Mitrovic - where Diame played for the majority of last season in the Championship.
Newcastle's loss against Mainz in Germany was their first defeat in pre-season, but the general feeling in the Toon's squad as the new campaign's opening fixture approaches is positive.
“You always want to win when you play a game, but I think it was a good session for everyone because they made us run a lot today, and that is good for our fitness,” the 30-year-old continued.
“But yes, of course we are disappointed with the result. The most important game is on the 13th and we need to be ready for that one."
Newcastle's reward for a return to the top-flight is a home tie against Tottenham, where they will be aiming to get some early points on the board at the London side's expense.