Obertan pace a real asset, says Newcastle boss Pardew

Gabriel Obertan
Gabriel Obertan
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GABRIEL Obertan aims to make up for lost time at Newcastle – after finally getting his season up and running.

The winger made his seasonal debut in Wednesday night’s 2-0 Capital One Cup win over Leeds United.

Obertan – who forced two late saves after coming off the bench at St James’s Park – missed the start of the campaign with a minor hamstring problem.

And the 24-year-old is keen to compete for a place in Alan Pardew’s Premier League side.

Pardew admits Obertan, signed from Manchester United two years ago, has come in for “stick” off some supporters during his time on Tyneside.

But he insists the former France Under-21 international gives him a welcome extra option with his pace, especially in a game which has opened up.

“At times Gabby has come in for a bit of stick here,” Pardew said.

“But his pace is still a real asset to us – especially when we take the lead.

“He can come off the bench and stretch teams.

“He came off the bench against Leeds, and could have had a couple of goals.”

It is understood that Obertan was interested in going out on loan this season to get some football under his belt, but Pardew feels he will play games at Newcastle.

“Gabby’s desperate to do well here,” said Pardew. “That was nice to have that option (against Leeds).

“We have more options now. I have to be able to make changes.”