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Christian Atsu

Atsu: Why I perform better with the national team

4:08 PM GMT+4 14/02/2017
Christian Atsu - Newcastle United
The winger has thrown light on his good outings for Ghana compared with his impact at club level

Newcastle United attacker Christian Atsu has pledged to lift his game for the club to match his inspiring output for Ghana national team.

The 25-year-old has been largely chastised for below par performances when in club action, as opposed to his impressive displays for the Black Stars.

“It is the confidence that you have,” Atsu replied when asked by The Chronicle the reason behind the difference.

“In the national team, I play 10 games [in a row] and they trust me.

“Sometimes it is difficult to come to the club side and play and get to the rhythm of the game immediately.

“I need to keep working hard. I play better in the national side but I hope to change that.

“I don’t think I am anywhere near my best [for Newcastle] yet.

“I can keep improving. I haven’t played one of my best games for Newcastle yet, and I am working as hard as I can to be able to do that.

“The fans have shown their love for me – it is up to me to pay them back on the field.

“I think I am getting close to playing really well.

“I am happy with them, and I will keep fighting to make them happy.”

Struggling for game time at Everton ahead of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea, Atsu emerged winner of the Best Player and Best Goal awards at the tournament, but was unable to reproduce that form upon his return to the Toffees.

At the 2017 Afcon in Gabon, Atsu was arguably Ghana's best man, eventually earning a place in the Team of the Tournament, but remains in and out of Rafael Benitez's XI at Newcastle.

Atsu's predicaments at club level have seen him move to six different teams in the past four years.