Hatem Ben Arfa

By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Managing Editor

 

Hatem Ben Arfa is determined to fire Newcastle United back to winning ways as focus switches to the FA Cup this weekend.

The Magpies entertain top flight rivals Cardiff City in the third round of the famous cup competition at St. James' Park on Saturday (3pm kick-off).

United go into the fixture on the back of successive single-goal defeats - only the second time this term they have suffered back-to-back losses - against Arsenal and West Bromwich Albion.

But Ben Arfa has put those reversals to the back of his mind already and is instead just thinking about giving the Toon Army something to cheer about in the FA Cup.

"We have learn lessons from what we did wrong (over the last two games), but also we have to forget it and focus for Saturday because Cardiff is a big game for us," the French international forward told nufc.co.uk.

"We have won a lot of games over the last two months. Yes, we have lost against Arsenal and West Brom but we are okay. We have to quickly focus for the next game.

"The FA Cup is famous all around the world. We know how important it is and we are going to try and do the best we can in the competition. That starts on Saturday.

"Hopefully we have a great game against Cardiff and we win."

Ben Arfa was a half-time substitute at the Hawthorns on New Year's Day but was unable to inspire ten-man United to victory.

"We went to West Brom to win but in the end we lost," he said.

"This is football sometimes and little details are the difference at a high level like this. We had some chances but at the end, being the home team, they pushed more than us.

"They also had an extra man for a long time. That made it harder for us because it is then hard for us to create chances.

"I'm glad to be on the pitch whenever I get the chance.

"I try my best and everybody in the dressing room puts in 100 per cent to play. That is good for Newcastle United because we have a really good group."

Tickets are still available for Saturday's FA Cup tie, starting from just £5. To secure your seat at St. James' Park, click here.