Morgan Ready For Toon's French Legion

By SFC Media time Fri 22 Feb Club

Frenchman Morgan Schneiderlin says he is looking forward to testing himself against a number of his fellow countrymen at St James' Park on Sunday.

The Magpies currently boast ten Gallic players in their squad following the January signings of Moussa Sissoko, Yoan Gouffran, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa Romain Amalfitano, Massadio Haïdara and Mathieu Debuchy.

Sunday's game on Tyneside has been christened 'French Day' by the home club in recognition of their French contingent – but Alsace-born Schneiderlin will be looking to upset the party.

"I hope it's a day for me and not for them," the midfielder exclusively told Saints Player ahead of the game.

"I know Sissoko, Gabriel Obertan and Yanga-Mbiwa because I played with them in the French youth teams from the Under-16s to the Under-21s. 

"They've got a very good reputation in France – Sissoko and Yanga-Mbiwa are both in the national squad, so they are very good players. Newcastle did a very good job to get them because I'm sure there were bigger names that wanted them. 

"I know their strengths so I'll make sure our other players know about them too so we can be ready for the game. 

"It'll be nice to see them but they will be my enemies on Sunday. After the game we will speak but I'll forget about it during the match and I'm sure they'll do the same."

When play gets underway at 1.30pm on Sunday, it will have been more than two weeks since Saints were last in action for the impressive win over champions Manchester City on 9th February.

The Club's elimination from The FA Cup meant the First Team were afforded a weekend without a game, but Morgan insists that training during that period has been just as intense as ever.

"[The last two weeks] have been good," he said. "We trained very hard last week and then the gaffer gave us the weekend off to recover and see our families. 

"It was nice to go home and to be able to relax and think about something else. We then came back on Monday to begin preparing ourselves for the Newcastle game.

"We are working very hard physically because we didn't want to lose any fitness on the weekend off. We've started to concentrate on how we're going to play and our game-plan, and we are going to be ready.

"There have been a lot of smiles since the City game," added the 23-year-old. "We enjoyed that game and the week following it, but now that's the past. 

"If we can get a result at Newcastle that would be even better, so the hardest part is still to come. Hopefully we can pick up some points.

"It's a huge game, but the pressure is on them," he concluded. "We beat them at home and this game is at their place so they have to take three points. 

"We're going to go there and play our game so hopefully we can win – if we play at the level we have over the past couple of games then I'm sure we will."

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