Newcastle United midfielder Dan Barlaser is hoping to catch the eye of Magpies boss Rafa Benitez during his loan spell at SkyBet League Two club Crewe Alexandra.
The 21-year- old has endured a frustrating time during his stay with the Railwaymen, making just three substitute appearances since moving to Gresty Road in mid-January.
Barlaser returned to Tyneside to play 90 minutes in the Magpies Under-23s 3-0 win over their Colchester United counterparts.
However, with David Artell’s side moving clear of the League Two drop-zone, Barlaser is hopeful of getting more game time and boosting his chances of adding
to his three senior appearances for Newcastle.
He said “I didn’t play on Saturday so I spoke to the gaffer (Artell) and to Ben (Dawson) and he said play and get some fitness.
“It’s much different (to playing for the reserves).
“They were in a relegation battle when I went so he wasn’t playing me because he was wanting to keep clean sheets and he didn’t think I could do that.
“Obviously we won on Saturday so we are 18th now so hopefully we can get higher up the table so I can get more minutes in the bank.
“The first-team have been playing very well recently and that is my aim, to come back a better player and to try and get in the first-team”
Barlaser’s appearance in Monday’s win over the U’s came as a surprise to many observers. The former Turkish youth international played the entire game as Ben Dawson’s
side eased into the last 16 of the Premier League Cup.
And the young midfielder revealed that Magpies boss Benitez who has handed him three cup starts for Newcastle's first team - requested that he play in the game at Whitley Park.
“Ben rang me yesterday and said that he (Benitez) wanted me to play so that’s really good.
“He shows that he lets the lads go out on loan to develop. I just want to get as many minutes as I can really.
“They (Crewe) play good football actually. Some of the games I have been on the bench and been involved, it’s long-ball football.
“We are one of the teams that tries to play and that is good for me because I like to play as well so that can help me develop”
Barlaser will return to the Crewe squad for Saturday’s home game against Forest Green Rovers.