Rafa Benitez is considering starting this Newcastle player against Brighton

Daryl Murphy
Daryl Murphy

Rafa Benitez is considering a recall for Daryl Murphy against Championship leaders Brighton and Hove Albion.

The Newcastle United striker last started a match almost a month ago.

We will see about Dwight Gayle, he is progressing, but it is a question of confidence.

Rafa Benitez

But he could start the top-of-the-table clash at the Amex Stadium tonight.

Murphy scored a winner for Ipswich Town away to Brighton last season.

And Newcastle manager Benitez, again without leading scorer Dwight Gayle, is considering starting the 33-year-old ahead of Aleksandar Mitrovic, who has missed a series of chances in recent games.

Asked about Murphy, Benitez said: “He’s in the squad, so we will see.”

Murphy, signed from Ipswich last summer, scored three goals last month, but he hasn’t started a game since the February 1 home draw against Queens Park Rangers.

Meanwhile, Gayle – who limped out of last week’s game against Aston Villa with a hamstring problem – is being assessed ahead of Saturday evening’s televised game against Huddersfield Town at the John Smith’s Stadium.

Benitez said: “We will see about Dwight Gayle.

“He is progressing, but it’s a question of confidence.”

It was feared that Gayle was facing several weeks on the sidelines after he was forced off against Villa.

However, tests have shown that the 26-year-old did not suffer a recurrence of the injury which kept him for almost a month.

“He is still improving,” added Benitez, whose side are a point behind Chris Hughton’s Brighton.

“He is not ready. He needs to be mentally right.”