By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter
After playing his first 90 minutes of the season during Tuesday night's Barclays Under-21 Premier League draw with Sunderland, Shane Ferguson declared himself raring to go for Newcastle's Europa League match in Maritimo.
The Derry-born youngster missed most of pre-season with a groin injury - then picked up another knock while playing - and scoring - for Northern Ireland in their 3-3 draw with Finland in August.
But he played 75 minutes for his country in their World Cup qualifying draw against Luxembourg before playing the whole game against a strong Black Cats Reserve side in a 2-2 draw at the Sports Direct Arena.
And he told nufc.co.uk: "It was brilliant just to be back playing and it was great to play 90 minutes.
"I'm pleased to be back in the swing of things now and to be back playing regular football. It's great and I'm hoping to try and get fitter every game.
"This was my first match back here since I got injured with Northern Ireland and it was just to get 90 minutes before the next match on Thursday.
"It was a brilliant match - just end to end. It was exciting to play in and there was a good atmosphere in the stadium."
Ferguson played at left-back on Tuesday but several of his 18 first-team appearances for Newcastle have came on the left-hand side of midfield.
And the 21-year-old Academy graduate said: "I'll play where I'm asked to play - wherever the manager needs me.
"Now I just hope to push on, try to push on and make a mark in the team, and get myself back in the squad."
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