Joselu reacts after being left out of Newcastle’s starting XI

Newcastle United's Joselu.
Newcastle United's Joselu.

Joselu says he’s ready to help Newcastle United over the Premier League finishing line.

The striker has found opportunities hard to come by since Christmas.

Rafa Benitez – who signed Islam Slimani on loan in January – has preferred Dwight Gayle to Joselu up front in recent months.

And Joselu, signed from Stoke City last summer for £5million, knows he could again be on the bench again for Saturday’s home game against Huddersfield Town.

“We have a lot of players,” said the 28-year-old, who has scored four league goals this season.

“We have a very good team. All of the players are in a good moment, me as well.

The Premier League is long. We have a very good squad, very good guys. We understand everything. The manager has a good word with us.

Joselu

“Now I have to be ready to play minutes and to try to score more goals to help the team to win games. That’s it.

“Some weekends, some players play, and others it is other players. The Premier League is long.

“We have a very good squad, very good guys. We understand everything. The manager has a good word with us.

“The manager cannot put 22 players in the starting XI. All the players are ready, and we work hard for that.”

Benitez takes time to talk to those players left out of his starting XI.

“I have had a lot of managers in my career, and it’s very important to have a good manager, a good coach, who talks with everyone when the players play or not play,” said Joselu, whose last goal came against Swansea City in January.

“He stays and talks with us, which is very important.”

Joselu played 90 minutes in the club’s friendly against Royal Antwerp in Spain earlier this month.

The game, which came at the end of a short training camp, was arranged after Newcastle were left with a 21-day break between league fixtures.

“It’s very good,” said Joselu. “We needed some training sessions, because it’s a long time to the next Premier League game.

“We are preparing for the next home game. We don’t stop.”

United beat Southampton 3-0 in their last league outing, and a break was the last thing Joselu and his team-mates wanted.

“I think any break after a win is bad, but that’s football,” said the former Spain Under-21 international.

“We have time to analyse and prepare well. Our next game is at home again, and we keep going every day to try to win.”

Only league leaders Manchester City and third-placed Liverpool have beaten Newcastle since Christmas.

Asked about the team’s form, Joselu said: “It’s good. We enjoy a lot, because when you win, everything is good.

“We try to keep going and we try to stay like this. We need to be careful. It’s the Premier League.”

United are four points above the relegation zone ahead of the Huddersfield game.

And Joselu believes the club’s home form will determine their fate.

“The Premier League is so difficult,” said Joselu.

“One week it’s five points, and another it’s one point. We need to win, especially the home games. We need to win again.

“I think, if we win our home games, we won’t have any problems staying in the Premier League.”

On Huddersfield, he added: “Every Premier League game is very difficult. We know the level in the Premier League.

“We have to prepare for the next game. We need to be focused. For us, it’s a massive three points.”