A useful workout for us, says Mo
Written by Rory Mitchinson
Mo Diamé is confident Newcastle United will reap the benefits of their first pre-season trip to Germany, despite going down 2-1 at Mainz 05.
The Magpies looked to be on course for a draw after Jesús Gámez struck to cancel out Levin Öztunali’s early goal, but former Middlesbrough forward Viktor Fischer’s effort five minutes from time gave the Bundesliga outfit a narrow victory.
On the whole, it was the home side who adapted best to the sweltering conditions, with temperatures in the Rhineland almost topping 30°C.
But, ahead of a second outing in Germany – against Wolfsburg in four days’ time – Diamé feels United are making progress as they gear up for their Premier League opener against Tottenham Hotspur on August 13th.
“You always want to win when you play a game, but I think it was a good session for everyone because they made us run a lot today, and that is good for our fitness,” he told nufc.co.uk. “But yes, of course we are disappointed with the result.
“I was quite surprised – you do not expect that sort of sun. But, the weather was a good thing for our fitness as well, and we know how important it is to get fit. The most important game is on the 13th and we need to be ready for that one.
“Wolfsburg are another good team, so it will definitely be a similar game on Wednesday. They were German champions (recently), so it is going to be a difficult game. But, as I say, we are just trying to get better game after game to make sure we are ready on the 13th.”
Diamé himself played for more than an hour at the Opel Arena, having started for the third time during the Magpies’ pre-season campaign.
“It was tiring today, but I feel OK,” he added. “I am playing in the middle – where I like to play – so I am trying to enjoy my football. I am happy to help the team, and I am just trying to get myself ready for the start of the season.”
"I was quite surprised – you do not expect that sort of sun. But, the weather was a good thing for our fitness as well, and we know how important it is to get fit."