Papiss Cisse is determined to fire Newcastle United up the Premier League table – after some early-season downtime.
Cisse will lead the line against West Ham United on Monday night in the absence of suspended striker Aleksandar Mitrovic.
Steve McClaren’s second-from-bottom side are yet to win in the league so far this season, and that is something Cisse is keen to address on his return to the starting XI.
The striker – who was not called up by Senegal – is “fresh” after the international break.
Cisse – whose future had been in the balance before the summer transfer window closed – is focused on leading the line at Upton Park.
“The players – those that aren’t involved with their national team – can go away and relax and come back fresher,” said Cisse, who scored against Southampton on the opening weekend of the campaign.
“Then we start again and maybe we can do something good against West Ham.”
Mitrovic will serve the first game of a three-ban ban for his dismissal in the club’s 1-0 home defeat to Arsenal.
The 20-year-old, signed from Anderlecht in the summer, scored Serbia’s goal in their 2-1 defeat to France in Bordeaux on Monday night.
West Ham manager Slaven Bilic, meanwhile, expects to have former Newcastle striker Andy Carroll, sidelined since February, for the televised game.
Carroll has recovered from knee surgery, and could make the home bench.
Elsewhere, former Newcastle skipper Kevin Nolan is training with Leyton Orient following his departure from West Ham.
The 33-year-old midfielder – the Hammers’ captain until he left the club by mutual consent just days before the conclusion of the summer transfer window –will remain with the League Two team for an indefinite period.
“It is great to have such a model professional in Kevin at the club, and I am more than happy for Kevin to come in and train with the squad,” Orient manager Ian Hendon, who has inspired his side to first place and five wins from their opening six league fixtures this season, told the club’s official website.
“It is good for our players to be training with a vastly experienced and talented Premier League midfielder.”