MOUSSA Sissoko is focused on leading Newcastle United to a derby victory – after proudly taking the captain’s armband.
Sissoko skippered the team on Saturday, and the 25-year-old will lead John Carver’s side out against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light on April 5.
“I came here to play in the big games,” said Sissoko.
“And I know for Newcastle as a club, and for all the fans, when you play against Sunderland it’s a big game.
“I want to win this game for my team first and for the fans as well.”
After conceding two sloppy goals to Arsenal before the break, injury and suspension-hit Newcastle fought back in the second half.
Sissoko, stand-in captain during Fabricio Coloccini’s three-game ban, netted in the 48th minute, and United created chance after chance as they pressed hard for a second goal.
But Arsenal held on to claim all three points, and United dropped one place to 12th in the Premier League table.
Sissoko – in the France squad for the coming friendlies against Denmark and Brazil – believes he and his team-mates can take encouragement from their second-half performance ahead of their next game on Wearside.
“In the second half we created a lot of chances,” said Sissoko.
“We scored quickly, and we tried to score the second goal, but we didn’t, and we are little bit disappointed.
“When you are losing 2-0 at half-time, it’s hard to win the game, but the team showed good character.”