Football - Gouffran eyes triple whammy

Newcastle forward Yoan Gouffran has urged his team-mates to focus on winning each individual game of a daunting triple-header.

PA Sport Report

First and most pressing for the 10th-placed Magpies is Sunday's derby meeting with Sunderland at the Stadium of Light before Manchester City visit St James' Park in the Capital One Cup on October 30.

Three days later, Chelsea arrive on Tyneside for a Barclays Premier League showdown and, should Newcastle take maximum points from the two league games, they could gatecrash the top six.

Alan Pardew's men did manage to stabilise their inconsistent start with a hard-earned point from Liverpool but Gouffran knows this next clutch of fixtures will really test their mettle.

The Frenchman told "It's an important period where we have important games.

"But we have to think game after game and we have to prepare for each game. After Liverpool it is Sunderland and that's how we must think."

Whatever happens in the next 10 days, Gouffran does not expect to force his way into France coach Didier Deschamps' plans for the forthcoming World Cup play-offs against Ukraine.

"I'm not in the squad, but I support the team," the 27-year-old added. "There is a group of 25-30 players, and I don't think I will be in.

"My focus is playing for Newcastle - starting against Sunderland."

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