“It is not enough for me to dwell on playing some games, I want to be part of it as soon as possible. For me, this season has been a test for me as a character because at times, I have thought ‘Here we go again’. I was relegated with Coventry and I know how terrible it is. We have had to stick at it which is what we’ve done and now it feels like it is turning around.
“I have just got to keep working hard to show the gaffer that there is another option there. For me it’s been a great season because I’ve been involved in the Premier League – but now it’s even better because it’s about the team.”
Bigirimana is delighted that United have managed to entice players of real class and pedigree with the likes of Moussa Sissoko, Mathieu Debuchy, Yoan Gouffran and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa – and he says they have settled in very well. Indeed he has predicted the return of a “band of brothers” feel to the Newcastle squad now that they are beginning to get their feet under the table.
“It’s been great and I’m just so happy for the club, the gaffer and the staff that they’ve brought in all of the new players,” Bigirimana added.
“Many people have been saying that something might go wrong in the changing room, they won’t gel and that there will be problems having so many Frenchmen in the team. But the gaffer’s done well, he’s sorted everything out and it has made the team so much stronger.
“The squad looks very strong and the atmosphere is even better than it was before the French players even came to the club. You can see that on the pitch. The desire is there not to give up.
“You’re 2-1 down against the European champions and you think we’d probably say ‘That’s it, we’re having one of those seasons’ but we didn’t give up. To get that 3-2 result is amazing.
“I am so happy they are here. They have good character and a good sense of humour. It is isn’t just like they can’t say anything to us – they say ‘hi’ in English and we have Cabaye, Obertan and Marveaux who are making sure everyone is involved.
“We are just making them feel welcome – they are great guys. Yoan Gouffran is a funny guy, he has a great sense of humour and Sissoko is the same. We love them already.”