Steve Bruce names Newcastle United player 'knocking on the door'

Dwight Gayle is pushing for a start at Newcastle United – 17 months after last making the starting XI.

Gayle made his comeback from a calf injury off the bench against Chelsea last weekend.

And the striker is in Steve Bruce’s thoughts for Sunday’s home game against Wolverhampton Wanderers with Andy Carroll set to miss out because of a groin injury.

Bruce revealed when he joined the club that he had tried to sign Gayle – who spent last season on loan at West Bromwich Albion – three times earlier in his managerial career.

“I made it common knowledge that I tried to sign him at least three times. Never been able to afford him. He’s been back now for the last two or three weeks. He’s knocking on the door. As the eight-year-old (at the coaching session) said, everybody’s got an opinion! Let’s hope I pick the right one.”

Bruce – who has been £40million fielding summer signing Joelinton up front – wants his team to be more “clinical” in front of goal.

“We have to be a bit better,” said Bruce. “We had wonderful opportunities, and didn’t make the right pass or decision. That’s that aspect.

Steve Bruce.

“It’s OK being a counter-attacking team like we are, but we have to be a bit more clinical, not just in scoring a goal, but in taking care with the pass. Two or three times we had the right option, and we didn’t quite take it.

“In the Premier League you’re not going to get five or six or seven chances like you do maybe in the Championship.

“When these chances come along, you’ve got to be a bit more clinical. That’s not just the forwards, but the midfield players and defenders as well.”

Gayle, signed from Crystal Palace in 2016, scored on his last home start against Chelsea in May last year. Newcastle won 3-0.

Dwight Gayle.