FIT-AGAIN Rolando Aarons says he’s desperate to help Newcastle United stave off the threat of relegation in their final three games – despite feeling “rusty”.
The winger made his long-awaited return from a series of injuries on Tuesday by making a 45-minute appearance for the club’s Under-21s side against Blackburn.
The 19-year-old was not satisfied with his own performance in Newcastle’s 4-2 win at St James’s Park, with Aarons building up his match fitness.
However, the England Under-20 international says he is now “raring to go”, and would be happy to return for the first-team in Saturday’s crunch game with West Brom, should head coach John Carver name him in the squad.
Aarons said: “It’s hard as a fan to watch it, but it’s even more frustrating as a player, especially when you’re injured.
“I just want to be involved and try to help the team, and I’ve not been able to do that for six months.
Rusty or not, I’m always available and I’m ready to play.Rolando Aarons
“I’m raring to go and trying to build my match fitness up, so I’m ready to play for the first team when I need to.
“I’m not the gaffer, so it’s up to him to make that decision.
“Even right now, I wouldn’t turn down the chance to play for the first team.
“Rusty or not, I’m always available and I’m ready to play.”
Aarons made a superb impact at the start of the season for Newcastle, scoring against Crystal Palace and Manchester City, but is yet to start a game in the Premier League, and has been sidelined since November.
He admits he felt “nervous” at the start of his comeback for the Under-21s, but is confident he is now close to a first-team return.
He added: “I’ve been thinking about returning ever since I got injured.
“It’s no different to how I was at the start of the season.
“I always love playing for the club, and no matter if it’s three games or 30 games left, I’m always going to put my all in, so it doesn’t bother me.
“St James’s Park is like my home, so it was a great feeling (to play there on Tuesday), and I’m looking forward to doing it for the first team.
“I was a bit nervous at the start, and I just wanted to kind of feel my way into the game and just test out how I feel, really.
“As the game went on, I got a bit more confident, but I still felt really rusty, and I think those 45 minutes helped me.
“Obviously I need to get back where I was.”