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We have to take our chances, says Atsu

Written by Tom Easterby

Christian Atsu says his first Newcastle United start of 2017 was tempered slightly by the missed chances that cost his side victory against Bristol City on Saturday.

United fell behind early on when Aaron Wilbraham headed in for the Robins, and a defensive mix-up presented David Cotterill with their second after 20 minutes.

But Jonjo Shelvey and Ciaran Clark struck after the break to rescue a point for the Magpies, who carved out a host of opportunities in a much-improved second half performance.

It wasn’t enough to secure victory, though, and the Ghanaian international – who flashed a shot wide with United looking for their third goal – believes their dominance warranted more than a point.

“I’m very happy when I start. I always try to win every game because it’s very important for the team and also for me. But for me personally, it’s a disappointing result, because I could have scored and we could have also won the game,” Atsu told nufc.co.uk.

“I think we deserved to win the game. We created a lot of chances. In the first half, we conceded two goals, and I think we did very well to fight back to draw 2-2. But I thought we deserved to win the game even though we were two down – we came back and still we were creating enough chances.

“Sometimes, it happens. We tried to give our best to win the game, and I think they were also lucky – they could have conceded a third goal. We have to take our chances.

“They defended very well in the first half, and in the second half they tried to defend, but we were much better. We created more chances, and I think we’re on the right path because we are doing something right.

“We could score a lot of goals if we keep on creating these kind of chances. I think we could have scored four or five goals from the chances we made, but this is football. We’ll keep working hard, try to work on our finishing and see what happens in the next game.

“We were putting more pressure on them and though we lost two points, the next game is the most important now.”

Rafa Benitez now face a trip to fellow high-flyers Brighton & Hove Albion on Tuesday night in a hotl-anticipated top-of-the-table Sky Bet Championship clash.

And Atsu - fresh from a first start since the defeat at Nottingham Forest in December - says Newcastle will “fight” for the victory that would see them begin a challenging stretch of three away games in style.

“This is a very difficult game – we know that. But for me, you treat every game the same way. We’ll keep fighting when we go away to Brighton,” he said.

“On Tuesday, we will fight – you have to go to these places and give our best for our fans.”

"We tried to give our best to win the game, and I think they were also lucky – they could have conceded a third goal. We have to take our chances."

Christian Atsu

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