By Dominic Toner
Newcastle defender Jesus Gamez was handed a rare start against Reading – and the club’s supporters expressed their delight on Twitter that he gets the chance to impress.
The 31-year-old moved to St James’ Park in the summer from Atletico Madrid and has struggled to make an impact.
The right-back has made just four appearances across all competitions this season, with only two of them coming in the league.
He will have the opportunity to showcase his talents in the Championship match against fifth-placed Reading.
The Magpies will be looking to extend their lead at the top of table as they push towards automatic promotion.
Rafael Benitez has decided to make three alterations to his side from the team that beat Huddersfield 3-1 on Saturday, with Gamez, Yoan Gouffran and Ayoze Perez coming into the starting XI.
Newcastle fans were particularly pleased that Gamez gets a run out due to the absence of Vurnon Anita and DeAndre Yedlin.
Here is a selection of their messages on Twitter:
Great to finally see Jesus Gamez play. Going from Atletico Madrid to Championship fringes is harsh on him. Quality player #NUFC
— Marc Jobling #FPL (@MarcJobling) March 7, 2017
Gamez starts..let's see what he can do eh. Interesting change! #nufc
— Claire Tate (@Claire_NUFC) March 7, 2017
Nice to see Jesus Gamez starting too as opposed to spending all weekend travelling and offering overly enthusiastic support. #NUFC
— Newcastle Stats (@NewcastleStats) March 7, 2017
JESUS GAMEZ GETS A GAME! 🎉🎉🎉
— Richard!⚽ (@Ding_RJ24) March 7, 2017
lets see what Gamez brings ! #NUFC
— Mali (@samalitim) March 7, 2017
Gamez was expected to play a starring role in the club’s promotion push this season after racking up vast experience in Spain during his career.
The defender is enjoying his first taste of life in English football and has found himself out-of-favour under Benitez.
He racked up 257 appearances for Spanish top-flight club Malaga, before a brief spell with Atletico.
Gamez could still play an important role during the rest of Newcastle’s season and will be under pressure to perform against a strong Reading side.
In other Newcastle team news, David Prutton has predicted the clash against Reading.