Newcastle star Cabaye blames fatigue for early-season slump in form

The 26-year-old Frenchman has cited exhaustion for his quiet start to the campaign after a demanding debut season in the Premier League followed by Euro 2012 commitments
Newcastle United playmaker Yohan Cabaye has put his poor start to the season down to tiredness rather than brooding over any potentially failed summer transfer moves away from the club.

Cabaye enjoyed a wonderful debut campaign scoring five goals and providing 11 assists to help Newcastle finish in fifth place. His displays saw him become a first choice for France, for whom he participated at Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine.
20/1 Yohan Cabaye is 20/1 with William Hill to open the scoring against Everton

His performances saw him linked with a move to the likes of Manchester United and Arsenal but ahead of his side's trip to Goodison Park to face Everton on Monday night, Cabaye says that the failure of any move to materialise is not what has been troubling him so far this season.

"I'm very happy here and I've never thought any different,' Cabaye told reporters. "But I've felt really tired. It was hard straight after the Euros.

"It's the first time I've come back after a big international competition in my career. And it had been a hard first season in England, with all the games and no winter break.

"I'm working very hard to get fit. I want to play every game at full speed for 90 minutes and I'll get there. I don't want to make excuses, it has been difficult for me but I'll work more, rest better and I'll be fine."

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew successfully managed to hold onto his top players in the transfer window and Cabaye refuted suggestions that the spirit in the Newcastle camp had been damaged.

"The spirit is just as strong as it was last season," Cabaye continued. "But we will have to be stronger mentally than before. We surprised people when we finished fifth.

"This year is different, every team knows what we can do and we are a target. We're going to have to be better this season to keep going."