Siem De Jong has told the Chronicle that he has been disappointed with a lack of first-team opportunities at Newcastle United this season.
The Dutch international joined the Magpies in the summer of 2014, and he missed almost the entirety of his first season through injury.
However, after having a full pre-season to acclimatise this time around, De Jong felt he had done enough to break into the Newcastle line-up, only to find himself sitting on the substitutes’ bench again.
And the central midfielder said: “I had a good pre-season.
“After that, the manager made a different choice, I have not played as much as I want to.
“But I need to keep working on myself. That’s why I am prepared to play with the Under-21s to get fitness in.
“Hopefully it won’t be long until I get more first-team minutes. I just need to work on that.”
De Jong offers a different option to many of Newcastle’s more powerful midfield players, but Steve McClaren appears to have reservations about starting the 26-year-old.
De Jong has made just one Premier League start since joining the Magpies, and his lack of impact has been a disappointment at St. James’ Park.
Many expected the former Ajax midfielder to be a key player after moving to Tyneside, but he is yet to find his best form.
De Jong could find that his chances of playing increase in the future, though, as Newcastle are still looking to find a winning formula after enduring an awful start to the new season.