By Russell Edge
Newcastle fans took to Twitter to celebrate the news that defender Ciaran Clark has returned to training ahead of their match against Preston North End.
Rafa Benitez confirmed in his weekly press conference, as quoted by the club’s official website, that the 27-year-old was back in training after recovering from an injury during their 3-1 defeat at home to Fulham in March.
However, the Spanish manager conceded that top scorer Dwight Gayle would be missing as a result of a hamstring injury.
Clark’s injury setback, which saw him miss six matches, impacted Newcastle greatly as they picked up just two wins during the Republic of Ireland international’s absence.
Benitez told journalists: “Clark has worked with the team but has two training sessions.
“When you have players coming back from injuries it’s good news for us.”
It is not confirmed whether Clark will play any part in Monday’s clash against Preston, but that has not stopped Newcastle fans turning to social media to express their joy at the prospect of the Irish defender returning.
Here are a selection of messages from Twitter highlighting the fans’ feelings:
No coincidence the nufc dip in form has happened whilst Clark has been injured.
— ⚫️⚪️Fozzie⚫️⚪️ (@Fozzie94) April 21, 2017
— KingOfTheNorth (@ForwardMoving17) April 21, 2017
Ciaran Clark is back in training ahead of Monday night's game against Preston. Get in. #NUFC
— TFF Newcastle (@TFFNewcastle) April 21, 2017
— allez les chapardeurs 🏴🏳️ (@ABientotTiote) April 21, 2017
Ciaran Clark returning will be a big boost, we've missed him. Lascelles has looked lost without him to keep him in check #NUFC
— Murray White (@Muzza_90) April 21, 2017
— Nick Rutherford (@rutherford577) April 21, 2017
Newcastle could secure promotion back to the Premier League with victory against Preston, and boss Rafa Benitez will be hoping Clark will be able to play a key role in achieving the club’s goals.
In other Newcastle transfer news, the Magpies have been linked with a move for Arsenal’s 25-year-old defender.