Newcastle United summer signing Yoshinori Muto has admitted his frustrations at a lack of chances since his £9.5m move to the Premier League, but promised to stay 'positive' and 'patient' through the business end of the season.
A Japan international, Muto was Newcastle's most expensive purchase last summer but has started just five times in the Premier League this season, while his last outing of any kind came back at the start of January, prior to his involvement in the Asian Cup.
Even when not on international duty, Salomon Rondon, Ayoze Perez and Joselu have all been preferred to Muto in attack under Rafa Benitez. The 26-year-old former Mainz forward admitted his introduction to Newcastle has been 'tough'.
Muto said, via ChronicleLive: "It has been really tough. I expected to play in the West Ham match but I couldn’t.
"It wasn’t my day at West Ham, as I lost my chance to play due to the injury [to Sean Longstaff] that occurred. But I think it is important that I remain positive. I need to be patient.
"I am the type of person who is not good at giving in. I will continue to train well in the training ground and wait for an opportunity to present itself."
Muto also revealed that he consulted fellow Premier League star Maya Yoshida during his time away at the Asian Cup.
He added: "During the Asian Cup I spoke to Maya Yoshida, and we realised that as this is a very important phase in the season, it may be more difficult to get the position back. I was quite confident to get my position back, but the situation is worse than I expected as the team did well without me."
Muto's Newcastle face Everton at home this weekend, with Benitez's side looking to get back on track after defeat to West Ham last time out.