Dwight Gayle is pushing hard for a recall to Newcastle United’s starting XI, according to Rafa Benitez.
The striker hasn’t started a game in more than a month.
Gayle – who was the subject of a £15million bid from Fulham last month – has recovered from the hamstring issue that interrupted his campaign.
And the 26-year-old, last season’s top scorer, has trained well ahead of tomorrow’s game against Brighton & Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium.
“They were doing finishing, the offensive players, Mitro (Aleksandar Mitrovic), Dwight and Joselu, and he’s OK,” said United manager Benitez.
“The players, they know when another one is doing well, they have to wait and they have to compete and be ready.
Dwight was in a very good position in terms of effort, so he was at the top of the graphic.Rafa Benitez
“That’s the main thing for me. If they don’t understand that is the way, after they will have the chances and they will say ‘I’m here, but I’m not ready’.
“It’s part of the mentality of a good professional, to understand his job and carry on doing what he has to do.
“Gayle will be pushing me, and he’s doing well.
“I was talking with a couple of players about the training sessions.
“Dwight was in a very good position in terms of effort, so he was at the top of the graphic.”
Joselu, signed from Stoke City in the summer, has led the line during fourth-placed United’s three-game winning run.
However, the 27-year-old missed three good opportunities in last weekend’s 2-1 win over his former club.
Benitez said: “We were talking about the chances that the had and the work that he did.
“Sometimes, you can analyse and you can have an opinion about strikers depending on the chances that they have and they take or not.
“But in this case, we were talking about overall, his work, and what he was giving to the team, his contribution, and after the chances.”