Rafa Benitez addresses Dwight Gayle’s form and fitness at Newcastle

Newcastle United's Dwight Gayle.
Newcastle United's Dwight Gayle.

Rafa Benitez is hopeful that Dwight Gayle will soon be up and running in the Premier League.

Gayle was the club’s top scorer last season with 23 goals.

But the striker has been troubled by his hamstring in recent weeks and also missed the midweek Carabao Cup defeat to Nottingham Forest with a bug.

Benitez hopes to have Gayle available for this afternoon’s home game against West Ham United.

Asked about the 26-year-old, Newcastle’s said: “Obviously, he has to go back to his level.

“But, sometimes with strikers, it depends on scoring goals and confidence or something like that, so we’ll see.

But, sometimes with strikers, it depends on scoring goals and confidence or something like that, so we’ll see.

Rafa Benitez

“He’s training well again, but because he had this issue, maybe two or three weeks ago, he was a little bit worried and we were talking.

“In reality, he was not injured, so it’s just the confidence. I think he needs his confidence back.”

Asked if he would face West Ham, Benitez added: “We have to wait on him.”

Meanwhile, Karl Darlow has joined the club’s injured list. The goalkeeper suffered a knock against former club Forest.

Benitez will also be without defensive trio Florian Lejeune, Paul Dummett and DeAndre Yedlin.

“Lejeune is still not ready, Yedlin is not ready,” said United manager Benitez.

“Also, Darlow has a knock with his thigh, so he won’t be on the bench.”

Lejeune and Dummett suffered injuries in the club’s season-opener against Tottenham Hotspur.