Rafa Benitez says that he has not closed the door on the potential return of players like Gabriel Obertan and Sylvain Marveaux.
Both players have been frozen out of the first-team action by former manager Steve McClaren. The latter has especially been accused of lacking fitness, while his time at Newcastle is most certain to be coming to an end in the summer. His contract runs out in June and there is little indication – especially in the face of a relegation battle – that the club wants to extend this deal.
Obertan has had some fine performances since his move from Manchester United a few years ago, but he has suffered from numerous injury problems at the same time. The French winger, though, is fit and ready and could play a key role in the remainder of the season according to Benitez. The Spaniard also welcomed striker Papiss Cisse back to the squad. The 30-year-old has not completed 90 minutes of action since the end of November. In fact, he has played only four matches since then. He featured in the 1-1 draw with Sunderland during the weekend. Benitez is still searching for his first win as the Newcastle manager as a result of this draw.
“Yes, for sure, they are working hard. They are listening to us and trying to do what we are asking them. I think you can see the commitment from everybody.We can’t complain about anybody because they are working hard and they are ready. And even when they have little things going on they are ready to train and impress.We’ll see how the other strikers are. Obviously, he’s [Cisse] training and it’s good news for us,” said Benitez. Newcastle return to league action after the international break with an away match against relegation rivals Norwich City.