Daryl Murphy will finally make his Newcastle United debut tonight – after pushing himself hard in training.
The striker joined the club from Ipswich Town last month.
What I have seen from him is a confirmation of what people told me – he is a good professional who is very positive for the team.Rafa Benitez
And Murphy – who spent five years at Sunderland earlier in his career – has had to wait for his bow.
United manager Rafa Benitez is set to start him in the club’s third-round EFL Cup tie against Wolverhampton Wanderers at St James’s Park.
Benitez – whose side was beaten 2-0 by Wolves in the Championship on Saturday – has been impressed with the 33-year-old in training.
“He is a player with experience in this competition (the Championship), and who has scored goals at this level,” said Benitez.
“What I have seen from him is a confirmation of what people told me – he is a good professional who is very positive for the team.
“He has not been involved yet, but he has been training really well and that is an example for other players to follow.
“Even at his age, he is still playing at international level (with the Republic of Ireland) and doing well.
“Before the last game, some of the players had a training session in the morning and I was really impressed with them.
“The players who were not involved were working hard and enjoying the training session.
“That is the way to build something strong enough, so you can be promoted, or get to where you want to be, in the future.”
Benitez is expected to make a number of changes for the cup tie, with left-back Achraf Lazaar, signed from Palermo last month, also pencilled in to make his debut.
“It could be that Daryl starts – that is one of the options we have,” said Benitez.
“Some players will get an opportunity to replicate what they have been doing in the training sessions, because I have been very happy with them there. They will get a chance during the games.
“He was not involved because we had other strikers, and we were winning.
“But he has been really good in the training sessions, so we will see if he can do the same during the games.”
Murphy would offer a different kind of threat to Dwight Gayle, who led the line against Wolves in the league.
“(Aleksandar) Mitrovic and Murphy are different to Gayle,” said Benitez.
“If we have to change the striker, then we will have to adapt our game a little bit as well.
“But we have been practising with different options, and we can do that.”
While Gayle is the club’s leading scorer with four goals, Benitez – whose side beat Queens Park Rangers 6-0 in the Championship a week ago – doesn’t yet have a fixed idea of his best attack.
“It could be that one striker does so well that we have to keep him in the team,” said Benitez.
“Ayoze (Perez) and Jonjo (Shelvey) did so well in the game at QPR that I felt I had to keep them in the team (against Wolves).
“It is not the case that you are simply changing players because you feel like you have to.
“Some players will continue playing in the team if they do well, although it depends on the position and the competition we are in.
“It could be that you have one striker scoring a lot of goals, but you have another training so well that they have to get a chance.
“But it could be that one player keeps on scoring and stays in the team.
“It is about finding the balance between rotating and choosing the right team for every game.”
Meanwhile, Benitez is waiting to discover if the club’s appeal over Anita’s dismissal against Wolves at the weekend has been successful.
Anita was shown a red card for a challenge on Ivan Cavaleiro.
Benitez said: “We have appealed and we will get the decision.
“We will find out before the game. If he loses his appeal, it depends on what they say.
“But it didn’t look like a straight red card, he didn’t touch the player.”
Defender Jesus Gamez has a calf problem and is unlikely to be involved against Wolves.