Peter Beardsley has told the Shields Gazette that Gabriel Obertan asked to play for Newcastle United's development side earlier this week, as he looks to step up his recovery from injury.
Obertan has not played for Newcastle for over a month and wanted the match practice to help sharpen up his game. As a result, the Frenchman was given 45 minutes in Newcastle's U21 side’s match against Liverpool, which they lost 1-0.
It was an action that Beardsley believes was a risk, as Newcastle have such severe injury problems, but Obertan will be hoping he did enough to win back his first-team place.
“To be fair to him [Obertan], he asked if he could play half a game,” Beardsley said.
“He wanted to play on, but we couldn’t risk him. I can’t speak for him, but JC might need him at Liverpool. That’s what it’s like at the moment. We’re down to the bare bones.
“We came to a compromise, and said he could have half a game. Gabby would have liked to have played longer, but it’s just the world we’re in at the moment.”
Obertan needs to force his way back into the first-team as he appeared to finally be starting to fulfil his potential at the start of the season.
Obertan was quite impressive in the early months of the campaign, but his form has clearly been negatively affected by his failure to stay off the treatment table.
As a result it seems that his future at St. James' Park could come into question over the summer, but he is obviously determined to stay at the club.
Obertan's attitude to ask for a game for the development side should be complemented, when he could have taken the easy option, and he will be hoping that Carver is impressed enough by his actions to give him the chance he so desperately craves.