Rafa Benitez’s hoping that Dwight Gayle is back for good – after making a goalscoring return from injury.
Gayle netted his 21st goal of the season late in Newcastle United’s 3-1 win over Huddersfield Town on Saturday.
The striker – who had missed the previous two games because of a hamstring problem – had come off the bench for the Championship leaders at the John Smith’s Stadium.
Gayle, on for Daryl Murphy, took advantage of a mistake from Huddersfield goalkeeper Joel Coleman to net in injury time.
“I would say first of all that I was pleased with Murphy and (Mohamed) Diame,” said United manager Benitez.
“They worked and put a lot of effort in.
He will have more confidence now, and hopefully he will fine until the end of the season.Rafa Benitez
“It was the right time to bring Dwight on, because Daryl was getting a bit tired.
“It’s important for us to have a player like that who creates chances and scores.
“We hope this little run and goal will give him the confidence with his injury, because he was training some days and then not others because he required treatmemt.
“He will need time, but he will have more confidence now, and hopefully he will fine until the end of the season.”
Gayle – who first suffered his hamstring injury in mid-January – could be handed a start in tomorrow night’s game against fifth-placed Reading at the Madejski Stadium.
After the Huddersfield game, Gayle hailed his team-mates on Twitter.
The 26-year-old tweeted: “Great away win from the boys dug in till the end. Buzzing to be back playing.”