Huge boost for Newcastle ahead of clash against Huddersfield
By Matt Farr
Rafa Benitez has confirmed that Newcastle striker Dwight Gayle will be back in the matchday squad to face Huddersfield on Saturday.
Gayle, 27, has featured just twice in Newcastle’s last 10 appearances, after being sidelined with a hamstring injury.
But Benitez announced on Friday, as quoted by the club’s official Twitter account, that Gayle was fine and could feature against Huddersfield.
RB: "Dwight Gayle is fine – he is in the squad." #NUFC
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) March 3, 2017
Gayle had initially been sidelined ahead of the FA Cup replay against Birmingham on January 18, and made his return to the first-team with a brief cameo appearance against Norwich on February 14.
However, his return was only short-lived, as he was forced off with another hamstring problem in the clash with Aston Villa just six days’ later.
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Benitez will be wary of a third setback and is not likely to rush him back to action, but he has been deemed fit enough to play a part against their Championship rivals.
The news will be of a major boost to Newcastle fans, who have witnessed a series of unconvincing performances in front of goal by their remaining attacking options in his absence.
Aleksandar Mitrovic has failed to score in any of his last three league appearances, and was an unused substitute in the victory Brighton last time out.
Meanwhile, Daryl Murphy and Yoan Gouffran have also been largely ineffective.
Gayle has scored 20 Championship goals from just 24 appearances this season.
In other Newcastle news, Micky Quinn has criticised these two first-team players, insisting they cannot play together.