Jonas Gutierrez says Saturday’s encounter against West Ham is the “most important” match of his Newcastle United career in what could be his farewell appearance for the club.
Newcastle are not yet safe from relegation ahead of the Premier League contest at St James’ Park and defeat to Sam Allardyce’s men coupled with a Hull City victory against Manchester United would consign John Carver’s side to the drop.
Gutierrez was a part of the last Newcastle team to drop into the Championship in 2009 and the Argentine winger is keen to avoid a repeat of those painful memories.
“It’s the most important game I have to play in seven years,” Gutierrez told the Shields Gazette.
“The good thing is that we play at home and it’s in our hands. A few players here know what it’s like to go down, and it’s not nice for the city, the players and the club.
“We need to move forward to the next game, and do it for the fans and the city.”
Gutierrez returned to the Newcastle first-team earlier this year after being given the all clear following a fight with testicular cancer.
The 31-year-old’s contract is set to expire at the end of the campaign and he has vowed to give his all to the cause until the end.
“I know this could be my last game at St James’ Park,” he added.
“Since I have recovered from my illness, I have always said the same thing. I want to help the team and work hard.
“I’ve been improving all the weeks since I arrived. I feel stronger and feel I can play 90 minutes. Two months ago, I didn’t know I was going to be able to [play].
“I feel strong. I think the same – help the team. Most of all, we have to do it for the fans and the city, because they don’t deserve to be in this situation. We are the players, and we have to take responsibility.”
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