Rafael Benitez admits Newcastle United's Dwight Gayle has lost his confidence

Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez celebrates  after winning the Sky Bet Championship Title after the match between Newcastle United and Barnsley at St James' Park on May 7, 2017 in...

Newcastle United forward Dwight Gayle has missed much of pre-season with injury.

Rafael Benitez has admitted to the Chronicle that Newcastle United striker Dwight Gayle has lost his confidence just ahead of the new campaign.

Gayle is building up fitness again, after missing much of pre season on the sidelines with injury.

And Benitez admits that he is having to try and build Gayle’s confidence up, so he is fully sharp in time for the season to start.

Dwight Gayle of Newcastle scores the third Newcastle goal  during the Sky Bet Championship match between Newcastle United and Nottingham Forest at St James' Park on December 30, 2016 in...

“For Gayle it is more the feeling, he needs confidence to do what he can do. He is doing everything," Benitez said after the Magpies' latest friendly match against Hellas Verona, which they won 2-0. 

“Now it is a question of confidence so we carry on pushing and training and hopefully he will get his confidence back.”

Gayle is expected to be in Newcastle’s squad for their opening match of the campaign, which comes against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.

Gayle was Newcastle’s leading marksman last season, and is expected to have a key role to play in the upcoming campaign.

The former Crystal Palace and Peterborough United man may have to make do with a place on the substitutes’ bench against Spurs though.

Aleksandar Mitrovic has been used regularly over pre-season, and has generally impressed, meaning he looks most likely to start for Newcastle next weekend.

Dwight Gayle of Newcastle United celebrates after scoring the opening goal during a pre-season friendly match between Bradford City and Newcastle United at Northern Commercials Stadium on...

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