Interview

'I kept asking friends to pray for me to score'

Mohamed Elneny couldn't hide his delight after breaking the deadlock at St James' Park.

The Egypt midfielder's 20-yard strike was too hot for Martin Dubravka to handle, and set us well on the way to a professional win over Newcastle United on Sunday.

It was Elneny's first Premier League strike on his 66th league appearance, so we caught up with the 28-year-old after the game to find out how it felt to score.

Mo, that was a really good win today and just what we needed after a difficult few days...
Yeah of course. We needed these three points before Thursday's game. We know how important this game is for us. Today we'll take three points away from home, and the way we played today, that will give us confidence and momentum to go to Thursday and then to play the way we wanted. 

You must be delighted with your goal. Your first Premier League goal. Talk us through it...
I was dreaming about it and I was really thinking so much about wanting to score in the Premier League. I've scored in the Champions League, the Europa League but not in the Premier League. This competition is really special for me and I keep always asking my friends to pray for me to score in the Premier League. Today when I scored I was really happy about the goal, but I am more happy to take three points. 

We could see how happy you were but also all your team-mates, all the staff, everybody seemed to be delighted for you...
This makes me more happy. When you see the people around you love you, the way they celebrated with me today is something I'm so grateful for. I'm really happy.

The team has spent a few days together after the game in Villarreal. How's that been for everyone?
I think it's helped a lot. We see what the atmosphere is like between us and last night as well, when we were all in Spain and able to talk together. We have this energy that everyone is able to channel. It's amazing and a great idea from Mikel to keep us together, to make sure we didn't think too much and just keep us together. It's a good way of getting us to share everything together, to talk about the future and how important the games are coming up. You could see that today. 

Talking of important games coming up in the future, a huge game for the club. How's the mood in the camp ahead of that one?
I think today was something to give us more confidence, how to play and win 2-0 away from home. Now we have cleared this one and we can focus on Thursday. I think everyone knows how important the game is for us. We're all ready for it, we're going to fight and we're going to give everything to make sure we go to the final.

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