Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez has revealed that he has been urging an under-utilised Dwight Gayle to vie for a place in the Newcastle team - having been reduced to a substitute role for the majority of games this season.
The Englishman had been sidelined in favour of ex-Stoke City man Joselu, but the 27-year-old managed to convince the Magpies boss to draft him into the starting 11 against AFC Bournemouth.
Benitez had revealed that he wanted to see an improvement in Gayle's general training, before rewarding him with the opportunity to start and the forward obviously took the challenge well.
His exclusion from the first team came as a surprise to Geordie fans, having seen Gayle top the scorers list at Newcastle last term in the Championship - being tipped by many to be a success in his second stint in the Premier League.
However it never quite materialised and he's found himself spending the majority of his time in the dug-out. Speaking to The Northern Echo Benitez said: "Competition is good, and we said to him [Gayle] that if he trains well, he will get chances. They have to show it on the pitch.
"We will train now, we will have some sessions this week and wait for the players to come back from international duty. It’s still the same, we are improving but we need this time to improve some more."
Despite Gayle's endeavour and clear hunger to spearhead the Magpies to victory, the Spaniard's 11 fell short, conceding three points to the Cherries in a 1-0 defeat - Steve Cook scoring a last minute header.
Further frustration will be heaped on the striker, as his poachers finish in the first half was ruled out for offside, his celebrations cut short.
He can't dwell on shortcomings though and will have to remain hungry and determined, if he wants to remain first choice for Newcastle, in the upcoming matches after the International break.