Jonas Gutierrez is back on song off the pitch at Newcastle – and pushing for a start on the field

INSPIRATION ... Jonas Gutierrez.
INSPIRATION ... Jonas Gutierrez.
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JONAS Gutierrez is on song for Newcastle United off the pitch – and closing in on his first start since beating cancer.

Gutierrez has made two substitute appearances for the 11th-placed club since being given the all-clear after treatment for testicular cancer late last year.

And the versatile 31-year-old is an option at right-back with Daryl Janmaat set to play in central defence during Fabricio Coloccini’s three-game ban.

Head coach John Carver believes that Gutierrez can make a significant contribution on and off the field between now and the end of the Premier League season, when his contract expires.

“Jonas is a huge character – he never stops singing in the dressing rooms – and it’s good to see him after he’s been out,” said Carver.

“Whether he starts (against Arsenal tomorrow), I can’t give you that information, but he’s getting closer. He’s massive to the group.”

Speaking after last weekend’s 3-0 defeat to Everton, Gutierrez said: “We have to finish in the top 10 – we don’t have any excuses.”