Abeid eager to press his claims for a Newcastle United start

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MEHDI Abeid is determined to seize his second chance at Newcastle United.

The midfielder helped the club book a place in the Capital One Cup’s third round last night.

The 22-year-old took control of the midfield and kept the ball moving forward.

And the Algeria Under-21 international - who found his opportunities limited in his first two seasons at Newcastle - is focused on cementing his place in United manager Alan Pardew’s plans.

Asked about his future, Abeid said: “Of course, it’s nice to be back. It was a great season for me (at Panathinaikos). I have to keep going and do what I did last season.

“I want to improve. I want to show to the coach what I can do.”

Technically-gifted Abeid - who returned from Greece with a powerful physique to back up his undoubted ability - kept United ticking over against Gillingham.

“It was great for me - I like to be on the ball to pass and help my team,” he said. “I have to keep going in that way.”

Newcastle dominated the game, but they couldn’t add to their one-goal advantage, and Pardew’s side had a few late late scares on a damp night in Kent.

“The most important thing was to win, and we did,” said Abeid, who is hoping to feature against Crystal Palace in Saturday’s Premier League game at St James’s Park.

“We showed some character, and we have to keep going and improve game by game.

“I think we were in control of the game and played well.”

Panathinaikos were keen to take Abeid back to Athens, but Pardew last week all but ruled out a transfer-window move.

“I’ve been impressed with him in his pre-season work, and he’s closer now than he’s ever been to the first team,” said Pardew.

“I think he’ll be all year battling for a place. He’s very much in my thoughts.”