Gabriel Obertan

By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Club Reporter

 

Gabriel Obertan is determined to play an important part in Newcastle's festive fixtures, after returning from injury on Saturday against Queens Park Rangers.

The winger had been sidelined for six weeks with a toe complaint that required surgery, but stepped off the bench at St. James' Park at the weekend to inspire the Magpies to a crucial 1-0 win.

With a number of creative players currently occupying the treatment table - including the likes of Yohan Cabaye and Hatem Ben Arfa - flying wide man Obertan could give United a fresh injection of attacking impetus.

And as they prepare to face his former side Manchester United on Boxing Day, Obertan is keen to stake his claim for a regular place.

"I was looking forward to playing and I've got no pain anymore so I'm just pleased to be back," he told nufc.co.uk.

"There are always places available to fight for in the team, and with the amount of injuries we've got at the moment that is no different. So I will be working hard for that.

"I've been out for about six weeks so I need to get match-fit and get my rhythm, but hopefully after one or two games I will be back and be in contention for a starting position.

"Manchester United is going to be a hard game. I don't focus on old friends I played with or anything like that. For me, it is all about getting us a result.

"We really need points at the moment and it is that simple.

"We didn't do ourselves justice against them earlier in the season, conceding from two set-pieces in the early part of the game. Hopefully we will play better on Boxing Day and get at least a point."

Fellow substitute Shola Ameobi scored the only goal of the game against the Hoops on Saturday, and Obertan believes it was a huge result which will lift everyone connected with the Club.

"We have been on a bad streak, we haven't been good at home and the results have been against us, so it was important to get three points," he said.

"There is nothing better than a win at home.

"We have a difficult run of games coming up so it is good that we have got some in the bag already, and against a team who is behind us in the table as well.

"In this kind of game, the longer you go without scoring, the harder it gets. But everyone stayed patient and the goal arrived quite late. It was a great goal from Shola and it lifted the whole stadium."