Gabriel Obertan

By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Club Reporter

 

Gabriel Obertan returns to Old Trafford on Saturday with a point to prove, and is keen to give one of his closest friends a tough afternoon in the process.

The French winger swapped the fringes of Manchester United's squad for Tyneside in August and has quickly established himself as a first choice on the Magpies' right flank.

Having missed the last two games with a toe complaint, Obertan is back in the Newcastle squad for their trip to the Premier League champions this weekend and could go head-to-head with Red Devils left-back Patrice Evra - something he is relishing.

"You always want to go back to your old club and prove to the gaffer (Sir Alex Ferguson) that you are a better player," Obertan told nufc.co.uk.

"I feel like I've improved since arriving here, and I hope the manager is quite pleased with what I've done so far. I will try to play my best game, but the most important thing is the points, obviously, and what the team does.

"We are just trying to focus on this one and we know it is going to be a tough one.

"I've still got some really good friends there - I call Patrice Evra regularly - so I think it is going to be great to go back there, feel the atmosphere and play against him too.

"I've already told him that it's going to be hard against me - he is in for a difficult game!"

"We have played some good football this season, have got some results and nobody expected it. It's been great. Yes, we lost last week against Manchester City, but we are going to bounce back this weekend and get a point against United, or even all three."

Obertan insists he is fully recovered from the toe infection which forced him out of fixtures against Everton and Manchester City, but he admits he would have played through the pain barrier to go up against the team he made 28 appearances for during a two-season spell.

"It's much better, I'm back in training and there's no pain so I will be fit for this weekend," said the wide man.

"I got stamped on about five or six weeks ago and kept playing on it. I put some cream on it to try and numb the pain and that may be the way it got infected.

"But I said to the physios that even if I had pain I wouldn't tell them this week because I really want to play in this game. I can't wait to play and am really looking forward to it."