By Harvey Byrne

Newcastle star Dwight Gayle has been named in the Football League team of the week.

The 26-year-old earned his placing in the 11 following a stunning display in Saturday’s 4-0 victory over Birmingham.

The striker led the line against the Midlands side, scoring a hat-trick, while also providing an assist for Yoan Gouffran’s goal.

He played 79 minutes of the clash before being brought off for Alkesandar Mitrovic and his display received recognition from the league.

Gayle joined the north east side in the summer for a £10million fee from Premier League outfit Crystal Palace.

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He has been an instant success at the club, scoring an incredible 16 goals in 18 appearances for Rafa Benitez’ side.

His strong displays alongside his team-mates have had a huge part in allowing Newcastle to nestle at the top of the Championship.

However, they are being closely tracked by Brighton, who sit one point behind them in second, while the gap is widening between the top two and the rest.

Jaap Stam’s Reading outfit are currently in third place, five points behind the automatic promotion spots, while Huddersfield are an entire nine points behind in fourth.

Newcastle will now be looking to go through the Christmas period unscathed in their bid for the title and they will face Wigan next on Wednesday.

In other Newcastle news, Jonjo Shelvey has ripped into this Nottingham Forest senior player.