Massadio Haidara has high hopes for Newcastle

UPBEAT ... Newcastle United's Massadio Haidara, left.
UPBEAT ... Newcastle United's Massadio Haidara, left.
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MASSADIO Haidara says the only way is up for Newcastle United after the club’s FA Cup defeat.

Haidara was in the Newcastle side which was beaten by Cardiff City in last weekend’s tie at St James’s Park.

And the disappointing loss left United – who have exited the competition at the third-round stage three times in the last four years – with only the Premier League to focus on.

Alan Pardew’s side take on Manchester City at St James’s Park on Sunday looking to end a two-game Premier League losing streak.

The club’s defeats to West Bromwich Albion and Arsenal saw Newcastle drop down to eighth place – the club was sixth after the Boxing Day win over Stoke City – but left-back Haidara is confident United can pressure the teams above them.

“Now we’re out of both cup competitions we can go 100 per cent in the Premier League to try to finish as high up as we can,” Haidara told the Gazette.

“We feel with the team and squad we have go, we have got enough quality to aspire for a top-six finish.

“We’ve done well in the first half of the season. Now we need to go out and do the same in the second half of the season.

“We have to work together and stay United. That’s what we need to grasp.”

Newcastle took the lead against Cardiff through a Papiss Demba Cisse goal, but they lost momentum after going ahead and visiting substitutes Craig Noone and Fraizer Campbell netted to give Ole Gunnar Solksjaer a winning start to his tenure.

“We’re really disappointed,” said Haidara, handed only his second start of an injury-hit campaign against Cardiff.

“We could have gone through. We had a great chance.

“We had the ambition to get through to the next round.

“Unfortunately, we didn’t go through, and the whole team is very upset.

“We went 1-0 up. We controlled the game, then Cardiff came back at us and got the two goals. It was really tough for us on the whole, as we largely controlled the game up to then.

“We tried to get back into it, but Cardiff put up a really good defence. We just couldn’t get that goal.”

Twitter: @milesstarforth