Dwight Gayle has opened up about the "frustration" he felt at being left out of Newcastle's team in the opening weeks of the season.
The Newcastle striker told the Shield Gazzette that he had felt flat after being overlooked by Rafa Benitez after the duo apparently had a falling out in training just a few weeks into the 2017/18 campaign.
Despite rumours stating that he may be sold, Gayle stayed on Tyneside and has worked his way back into the fold at St.James' Park. Gayle, however, only spoke about needing to work hard to get into the starting lineup as he bypassed the speculation over his alleged verbal spat with Benitez.
He stated: “Of course, it’s frustrating not playing, and the team had been playing well, so I understood it. I just need to try to work harder and prove to the gaffer I can be in the starting XI.”
Gayle had started Newcastle's first two league games of the season before he was left out fo the squad for the 3-0 win over West Ham on 26th August.
Rumours of a falling out with Benitez led to conjecture that he would leave the Magpies but, after not doing so, found himself coming off the subs' bench for six out of the next seven league encounters.
Been out injured got told he was nervous about injury keep playing so he had no confidence and wants to be back in London— jon adams (@Dj99Nufc) November 15, 2017
He returned to the first XI for the shock 1-0 loss to Bournemouth before the November international break and the 27-year-old revealed that it had been a difficult result to take given how Newcastle had dominated the first hour of the clash.
Gayle was also quizzed on his goal that was ruled out for offside despite him being shown as being on in replays, but the forward explained why you can't rely on decisions like that to win games.
He added: “Obviously, it was a good time for us in the first half. We were creating chances and putting the pressure on them, so if we’d got a goal then, you never know.
“But these things are going to happen in a game and you need to react to them. Perhaps we didn’t kick on from there and play our best football.
“You’re never too sure. If anything, you’re trying to make the lino’s decision by celebrating and not looking to him. It’s unfortunate, really.
“You’re supposed to give the benefit of the doubt to the striker. It’s an unfortunate one, but you’ve got to move on from it."