Ex-Newcastle hero reveals how he convinced midfielder stay at St. James' Park

St James Park

Former Newcastle left back Olivier Bernard says he convinced Mehdi Abeid to stay at the club.

The hostile atmosphere around Newcastle United seems to have disappeared in recent weeks, with manager Alan Pardew guiding the Magpies on an incredible run.

Pardew was public enemy number one on Tyneside after two months of the season, with Newcastle winless and struggling to score goals.

Yet now, Newcastle have won five games in a row in all competitions, defeating Leicester, Tottenham, Manchester City, Liverpool and West Bromwich Albion in a superb run of form.

The upturn in results has coincided with Pardew's increased reliance on young players, with Paul Dummett, Rolando Aarons, Sammy Ameobi and Ayoze Perez all playing bigger roles in the first team.

Another player to have emerged in recent weeks is Algerian midfielder Mehdi Abeid. The 22-year-old, who joined the Magpies from Lens in 2011, has had loan spells with St. Johnstone and Panathinaikos before finally breaking into the Newcastle line-ups this season.

Having impressed against Liverpool, Abeid has become one of Newcastle's most promising players, but former Magpies left back Olivier Bernard has told of how he convinced the youngster to stay at the club rather than leave.

"Mehdi is a guy I know really well because when he started in England I would do some of the translation for him at Newcastle," Bernard told the Evening Chronicle.

"I really like him as a person and I think he is a terrific footballer as well, but I must admit that when he first came to Newcastle he wasn’t ready for it. He made great progress at first but he wasn’t ready. He wasn’t physically ready and maybe he wasn’t mentally ready."

"He asked me whether to go on loan last year and he asked me again this year whether he should leave. I told him yes to the loan but I said ‘No, don’t leave. You can prove yourself at Newcastle’. I think that was always his opinion. He didn’t want to leave, he wanted to show Newcastle what he could do and he stayed."

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