Mohamed Diame
Mohamed Diame wants St James' Park to be Newcastle United's fortressGetty Images

Newcastle United midfielder Mohamed Diame has issued a warning to his teammates not to lose focus from now until the end of the season and help the Magpies secure a top-half finish.

Ayoze Perez's 80th minute goal meant the Tyneside club secured a narrow 1-0 win over Huddersfield Town at St James' Park on March 31. The latest victory meant they were no longer closer towards the relegation zone.

Rafael Benitez's side are sitting in the 12th spot, with 35 points after 31 games. They are seven points ahead of 18th place Southampton and are two points behind 10th place Bournemouth, albeit with a game in hand.

A victory in the next fixture will see them move ahead of Eddie Howe's side and make their way into the top 10. Diame, who expressed his delight after a win over Huddersfield, now wants Newcastle to finish the 2017/18 season as high as possible in the table.

"It was a huge win for us against Huddersfield. We are very happy but we just have to keep going," the Chronicle quoted Diame as saying.

"Yes [a top-half position is possible], we have to think about finishing as high as possible. For a club like us, it is important to have a big target for next season - which we can have if we finish high enough in the table.

"We have to put down a marker. But if we only finish 16th or 17th then the target will be just to finish above the relegation zone again. That is not what we want.

"We just have to keep going even when we think we are safe so that we finish the season well and end up in a good position."

Diame's targets are not only set for this season, but for the next campaign as well. He wants St James' Park to be Newcastle's fortress.

"This has to be our fortress. And it has been that way for the last three home games. The fans are wonderful here and we have to do all we can to make sure we stay in the Premier League," the 30-year-old former West Ham United midfielder explained.