FACUNDO Ferreyra is no nearer making his Newcastle United debut – after refusing to play in a reserve game as he wasn’t fit enough.
The striker is yet to play a competitive first-team game for the club – NINE months after joining on loan from Shakhtar Donetsk.
I felt he was ready for it, but you have to trust the player. I asked the player and he said he wasn’t ready for it.John Carver
And Ferreyra is unlikely to feature before the end of the campaign.
The 24-year-old, signed on a season-long loan deal last July, is back in training after recovering from a back problem.
And United head coach John Carver asked Ferreyra to play in Tuesday night’s Under-21 Premier League game against Middlesbrough at St James’s Park.
But the Argentine felt he was NOT ready to play – and Carver respected his opinion.
Asked if Ferreyra was close to a comeback, Carver said: “We asked him to play in a reserve game on Tuesday night against Middlesbrough, and he wasn’t ready for that, so no.
“I think he’s been back with us now for three weeks.
“He’s had a back problem and an injection in his disc.
“I felt he was ready for it, but you have to trust the player. I asked the player and he said he wasn’t ready for it.”
Carver now hopes Ferreyra – nicknamed “Chucky” – will be fit enough to play in Wednesday night’s Under-21 game against Derby County a Whitley Park.
“There’s a game next week against Derby, and I’ll ask the same question to see if he’s ready for it,” said Carver, who is desperately short of striking options.
Alan Pardew, Carver’s predecessor, said the former Argentina Under-20 international needed “building up” before he could make his Premier League debut.
And Ferreyra, speaking last month, conceded that his injury had come at a bad time.
“I have not been lucky enough to play due to physical problems.
“But I am working to get well and stay on the field because I would love to stay and play here,” said Ferreyra.
“The team was already established when I arrived, and when I started to feel good, I had this injury and I’m struggling with that.
“The truth is it’s great (in England) because I think the Premier League is the best league in the world.
“It is a very physical league. The defenders are very strong, and you must be able to withstand the rigour.
“Here if you are not good physically you can not play.”