DAN Gosling is desperate to make up for lost time at Newcastle United – starting against Tottenham Hotspur.
The midfielder’s first year at the club was spent in the treatment room as he recovered from a serious knee injury.
And Gosling found his Premier League opportunities limited last term by the form of others, notably first-choice midfield pair Cheik Tiote and Yohan Cabaye.
However, the 22-year-old has impressed in pre-season for Newcastle, who open their campaign with a televised home game against Spurs on Saturday.
Now the challenge for the versatile player is to translate that form in the season proper.
With Tiote nursing a calf problem and Cabaye short of match fitness ahead of the Tottenham game, Gosling is on standby for the visit of Tottenham to St James’s Park.
“Everyone knows I was injured in the first year, so that was a write-off,” Gosling said. “Last year was my first full one.
“I’d have liked to have played a bit more, but that’s just how it is.
“I’ll keep battling, and hopefully this one will be a better one.
“Hopefully, I’ll get more games in the Premier League this year.
Gosling has looked sharp in Newcastle’s pre-season, which came to a disappointing end on Saturday with a 4-1 defeat to Cardiff City in South Wales.
“I feel good – pre-season’s worked well for me,” said Gosling.
“I’d have liked to have had a couple of goals, but that wasn’t meant to be.
“It’s just not falling for me in front of goal. I’ve had a few chances.
“The one at Hartlepool was disallowed for offside. Hopefully, they’ll come, and the team can progress and get points on the table.”
Reflecting on the Cardiff loss, Gosling added: “It was a bad game all round.
“Hopefully, by Saturday, we’ll be ready for Spurs after a week’s intensive training. We’ve had a few good results.
“Pre-season’s about getting fit, and we’ll all be up to the levels required by the Premier League.”
The Tottenham game is followed by the first leg of Newcastle’s Europa League qualifier against Atromitos.
United play the Greek side in Athens on August 23, and entertain them on Tyneside a week later.
Inbetween the two ties is a Premier League away game at Chelsea.
Gosling said: “It’s a massive week, and hopefully we can get a good start against Spurs and take it on to the Europa and Chelsea, as well.
“It’s going to be tough, but I’m whoever’s picked will do a good job for the team.”
- MILES STARFORTH