By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter
Gabriel Obertan admitted that his well-taken treble for Newcastle's under-21 side in Friday's 4-0 win over Crystal Palace is the perfect confidence boost.
The former Manchester United man - who at 24 years old was named as an over-age player in Willie Donachie at Peter Beardsley's side for the second match in a row - has not featured for the first team since being withdrawn at half-time against Manchester City last month.
But he netted a clinical hat-trick at St. James' Park to keep himself in Alan Pardew's thoughts ahead of the final few weeks of the campaign and was praised for his attitude by coach Donachie.
Having played in the Champions League and represented his country at under-21 level, it will not register in the winger's career highlights and he was not clutching the matchball as he came out of the home team dressing room.
But, speaking exclusively to nufc.co.uk, he said: "That's very good for the confidence.
"I've been kind of dropped from the first team and it's good to play with a young, enthusiastic team so I'm very pleased.
"I just enjoyed the game. Of course it's been a while since I played in any competition, so even if it's a Reserve game you still have to put your work into it.
"The coaches helped me a lot, Peter and Willie, so it's been a great time for the team.
"I'm trying to work hard for myself, to stay fit and be ready for whatever happens.
"And as I told you, it's great to see that the Reserves at Newcastle are doing great and getting results."
Obertan was joined by senior players Romain Amalfitano, James Tavernier and Gael Bigirimana against the Eagles, but the likes of Alex Gilliead, Lubo Satka, Kevin Mbabu, Lee Desmond, Rolando Aarons and Jonathyn Quinn are all eligible for the under-18 side.
And based on what he has seen over the last two matches, Obertan believes the future is bright for United, who are now unbeaten in their last nine second-string outings.
He said: "If they keep working hard and play like they played today, with the same attitude, I think they've got good stuff coming for them."
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