How Gabriel Obertan went from training alone to becoming a match winner

Gabriel Obertan admits hard work is the only thing that has got him in the position to win matches for Newcastle United.

It's been a long, difficult slog for Gabriel Obertan in the Premier League - there is no other way to put it.

At Manchester United, the winger simply didn't make the grade. And, since joining Newcastle, there have been very few signs that he would make the grade at St James' Park, too.

That's why the 25-year-old found himself training alone earlier this season.

In his own words, he had to 'work hard and dig deep.' And that has led to him starring - and scoring the winner - during the Magpies' first Premier League win of the season.

“It’s easy to train when you’ve got the coaches patting you on the back, but these moments by yourself ... you have to work hard and dig deep," he is quoted as saying by the Shields Gazette.

“I’ve always been confident in my ability. It might be a surprise for some people, but not for me. It’s a great feeling at the moment. It’s great – not just for me but for the team.

“I know it’s been quite frustrating for the fans. I hope the first win gives them something to celebrate. We needed that win to get the confidence back, and I think we are going in a good direction right now.”

That hard work has reaped its rewards...

  TeamPosGoalsDribbles WonChances CreatedSuccessful Final Third-PassesTouchesAppsMins
Gabriel Obertan Newcastle MF 1 3 2 12 54 1 90
Vurnon Anita Newcastle MF 0 0 1 2 41 1 59
Papiss Demba Cissé Newcastle FW 0 1 1 4 43 1 90
Jack Colback Newcastle MF 0 1 4 11 54 1 90
Yoan Gouffran Newcastle FW 0 2 1 6 64 1 89

As Opta stats show, aside from Obertan's fine individual goal against Leicester City on Saturday - which fans were made to wait even longer than usual for, after a delay to kick-off - the winger also won three dribbles and created two chances.

Only Yoan Gouffran took more touches of the ball than him, meanwhile, and no Newcastle player completed more passes in the final third.

Now to produce this kind of form every week.

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