Daryl Murphy’s looking to catch Rafa Benitez’s eye after coming through the most frustrating spell of his career.
The striker, signed from Ipswich Town in the summer, suffered a calf injury after making his Newcastle United debut in an EFL Cup tie in September.
Murphy, now fully fit, scored in an Under-23 fixture this week.
However, the 33-year-old – who played 45 minutes of the 1-1 Premier League 2 draw against West Bromwich Albion on Monday – knows he will find it hard to break into a team which has won its last nine games in all competitions.
“I’m getting there, slowly but surely,” said the Republic of Ireland international.
“I’ve been back in training for a few weeks now, which is obviously good for me, but I think it’s game time that gets you that extra bit of sharpness, and thankfully I had that on Monday.
“I’ll just keep training and hopefully catch the manager’s eye. I’m a striker and I want to score goals. The most important thing was just to get minutes under my belt and make sure that, injury-wise, I’m all right. The goal was a bonus.
“The lads are on a brilliant run and everyone’s playing well, so I need to impress to try and force my way in.”
On his lay-off, Murphy told nufc.co.uk: “It’s probably the most frustrated I’ve been in my career, to be honest.
“I’ve never been out for this long, so it’s all new to me, and watching the lads play week-in, week-out from the stands is not very nice.
“But I’ve just got 45 minutes under my belt. Hopefully, it’ll stand me in good stead.”