This is why Newcastle United's Ciaran Clark is 'frustrated' on loan Sheffield United

Ciaran Clark left Newcastle United on loan to play first-team football – but the defender hasn’t played for more than a month.

Clark joined Championship club Sheffield United in the summer hoping to reinvigorate his career after falling down the pecking order at St James’s Park.

However, the 32-year-old – who is in the final year of year of his contract at Newcastle – has had a “frustrating” few weeks.

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In defence of Newcastle United’s departing defender Ciaran Clark

Clark suffered a hamstring injury after making three appearances for the club last month – and he suffered a set-back a fortnight ago.

"He had a little setback in training a couple of weeks ago, a muscle injury, and last week he was at the four to five-week mark," said Blades assistant manager Stuart McCall.

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"On his recovery, he was almost back, and, unfortunately, he overstretched – and it went again. Nowadays, it's all scans, and you have to make sure you're right and symptom-free.

"It's so, so frustrating for anyone to come to a new club and pick up an injury. He played on the right at Watford, which was the first time in his career he had done that – and he's 32.

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Newcastle United defender Ciaran Clark was loaned to Sheffield United this summer.

"He was filling in at Watford on the wrong side, and then he got back in the team on the left-hand side.

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"He was desperate to get back, and training really hard – and had a little setback. Frustrating for him, frustrating for us, frustrating for everyone. He just wants to be back involved."

Clark – who joined Newcastle in 2016 from Aston Villa during Rafa Benitez’s time in charge – was left out of the club’s 25-man Premier League squad in January following the arrival of Dan Burn from Brighton and Hove Albion.

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Speaking in July after leaving the club on loan, the Republic of Ireland international said: “Just to be involved in and around the first-team squad again will be massive for me.

“I spent six months last season not involved and just training, which isn’t a great feeling to be honest.

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"But this is a new challenge, a fresh start, and one that I’m looking forward to.”