I’m happy I decided to stay, says rejuvenated Xisco

FRESH START? ... Xisco, pictured centre (No32), hasn't given up on his Newcastle career.
FRESH START? ... Xisco, pictured centre (No32), hasn't given up on his Newcastle career.
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FORGOTTEN man Xisco’s hoping to finally come in from the cold tonight.

Xisco hasn’t played a first team game for Newcastle United since August 2010.

But the striker’s in Alan Pardew’s squad for the club’s Europa League game against Club Brugge.

Xisco – who has made just a handful of appearances for United in his four years on Tyneside – told the Gazette last month he had opted to see out the final year of his contract at St James’s Park rather than head back to his native Spain on another loan.

And the former Spain Under-21 international – who netted a hat-trick for the club’s reserves against Stoke City last month – is hoping to start his rehabilitation at the Jan Breydel Stadium.

“I decided to stay and get a chance here – I’m happy I made the decision,” said Xisco.

“This season we have a young squad, and some young players in the first team. It’s very different to the first year when I came here. You get a good feeling training with these lads every day.

“It makes me feel good that I made my decision to stay here and work with them.”

Xisco’s career at United, so far, has been far from illustrious, but the Mallorca-born player, signed from Deportivo La Coruna for £5.7m in the summer of 2008, is hoping to at least contribute on the field before leaving the club next summer.

“I’m still a Newcastle player – the reason I came here was to play for the first team,” he added. “I have just worked hard.

“All I want to do here is help the team.

“I have one more year and I would like to play. It’s the manager who decides who will play.”

Xisco is included ahead of youngster Adam Campbell, while Demba Ba hasn’t travelled to Belgium after aggravating a shin injury against Liverpool.

SQUAD: Abeid, Amalfitano, Sammy Ameobi, Shola Ameobi, Anita, Bigirimana, Cabaye, Cisse, Coloccini, Elliot, Ferguson, Krul, Marveaux, Obertan, Santon, Tavernier, S Taylor, Tiote, Williamson, Xisco.