DAN Gosling is desperate to put six months of injury frustration behind him at St James’s Park on Saturday, writes MILES STARFORTH
The midfielder made his Newcastle United debut as a 90th minute substitute in Sunday’s Wear-Tyne derby.
And Gosling – who had been out since March, when he ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament – can’t wait to make his first home appearance for the club.
The 20-year-old’s first appearance is likely to come against Tottenham Hotspur, Gosling having topped up his fitness with a 90-minute run out for Newcastle’s reserves against Wigan on Monday afternoon.
And an appearance at St James’s Park in black and white can’t come soon enough for Gosling, who has played at the stadium for Everton, the club he left in the summer.
“It’ll be a special moment – it’ll be one of the biggest crowds I’ve played in front of,” Gosling said. “I’m very happy here. It’s been a great atmosphere for the wins we’ve had there, and hopefully it’ll be the same on Saturday.
“Spurs are a good side – they’ve showed that this year – but, hopefully, we’ll have all the fans on our side, and we’ll get a good result for them.
“We just need to get a few home wins, and if we can nick a point here and there on the road, we’ll keep ticking over.
“We want to win every game, but if we keep clawing points, we’ll do all right.
“It’s been an up and down season, but we’ve got a little cushion between ourselves and the bottom sides, but we’d like to have a few more points on the board.”
Reflecting on his cameo against Sunderland, Gosling went on: “It’s been a long time in coming, and it wasn’t a bad one to come into. I was always prepared to come on – I knew at some stage I would get the call.
“I was just trying to get myself ready for it, and it was nice to come on for the last four or five minute, but it would have even better if we’d managed to stay in the lead. I was just gutted we couldn’t hold on in the end. If someone had given us the 1-1 before the game, we’d probably have taken it, as Sunderland have got one of the best home records in the league, but it felt like a defeat.”
Gosling won praise from reserve-team coach Peter Beardsley for his performance in the 5-1 win over Wigan.
And he went on: “It’s a weight off my shoulders. That was my second game, and I’m just thoroughly enjoying being back out with the lads and training every day like normal.
“I felt better in that game than the one last week. I got a full 90 minutes, so hopefully it won’t be too long before I’m in with a shout of making the starting line-up.”
Gosling – who started his career at Plymouth Argyle – made his name for his versatility, and while he’ll play anywhere for his new club, he is keen to establish himself as a central midfielder at Newcastle.
“I see myself predominantly as a central midfielder, though sometimes I might have to play out wide, or somewhere else,” added Gosling. “I’m willing to do that for the team, and if that’s the case, I’ll get on with my job like normal.”