Rafa Benitez has called on Jacob Murphy to prove himself in training, if he wants to ensure his appearances in Newcastle's matchday squad are not so sporadic.
Murphy, 23, has been limited to just five appearances for the Magpies this season - with only two coming as a member of the starting lineup - as he continues to face competition on the wings from the likes of Kenedy, Matt Ritchie and Christian Atsu.
However, none of Newcastle's four wide players have found the back of the net this term and with striker Salomon Rondon out injured, the pressure to perform and hit the scoreboard has been taken up a notch.
Murphy has shown glimpses of quality but he has yet to be named in the starting lineup in successive games. However, Benitez insisted he can work his way into contention if he impresses in training - a way in which goes for all his players.
“We have a problem in this position because we have four players to play in the wide areas,” Benitez said, via the Shields Gazette.
I'd start Jacob Murphy on Saturday versus Leicester.— Burnsie 🏴NUFC🏳️ (@BenArfaChance) September 24, 2018
They have extreme pace in Gray, Vardy, etc and will try to hit us on the break.
We need to counter that with pace of our own.
Get Yedlin, Murphy, Muto all running at them.
Give them something to think about!#NUFC
“Normally, when you do the squad one will be out of the squad. It depends how they train. It depends what they do.
“Each one is different and his own strengths and weaknesses. We are working to encourage them to use their strengthens and improve their weaknesses. They are different and it depends on the game whether we use one or the other one. Jacob is training well.”
With Newcastle needing scoreboard impact from players other than just their leading men, and when posed with the question pertaining to the goal spread in his team, Benitez added: “I agree with you.
"I like that you ask this question, because against Leicester I am confident that one of the wingers will score a goal. That is the positive thing. They know that they to score more, and I’ve told them before.
"I was speaking with Kenedy, Ritchie, Murphy and Atsu at different points this week. You talk with them and ask them to do things.
“They are always trying to do what is best for the team, trying to encourage them to do things, and I am sure that they will be fine. Hopefully soon; they need some time, but they will do it.”