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Newcastle's Atsu speaks after Sunday's Premier League baptism

20:23 GMT+3 13/08/2017
Mousa Dembele Tottenham Christian Atsu Newcastle
The Ghana international sheds light on the home loss to Tottenham Hotspur on his club's return to the elite division

Newcastle United winger Christian Atsu insists his outfit are up to the challenge despite their opening day defeat in the Premier League on Sunday.

On their topflight return, the Magpies succumbed to a 2-0 reversal to Tottenham Hotspur at St. James' Park, undone by second half goals from Dele Alli and Ben Davies.

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On all grounds, it wasn't quite the afternoon as Rafael Benitez's men lost Paul Dummett and Florian Lejeune to first-half injuries before Jonjo Shelvey was brandished a red card shortly after recess.

“The team is ready," Atsu, who lasted the entire duration, told his club's official website after the game.

"Although we lost two players, you did not see any difference – you could see all the players are well-prepared for anything that happens.

“We went into the game with a very strong mentality – trying to win. We did really well in the first half and made things difficult for them. 

"We created a couple of chances but after the red card, when we had ten men, it became really hard.

“We had to stick together. Individually, we knew they were better than us, so we needed to play as a team. We did that."

With 37 more matches to go, all is definitely not lost for Newcastle.

The Magpies play away to fellow new entrants Huddersfield Town in their next game on Sunday, and as the countdown has already begun, Atsu knows exactly how to find the winning formula.

“We need to believe in ourselves, and continue to stick with our game-plans," said, the 25-year-old. 

"We just need to keep our focus, keep working hard and try to win our next game.

“We will need to win games before we become more confident, but I think the team is really solid and playing really well.

“We thank the fans for their support. They have been amazing. We will come back stronger to give them what they deserve.”

Atsu joined Newcastle on loan from Chelsea last season but a fine campaign saw the move made permanent in May.