DAN Gosling is determined to finally put his best foot forward at Newcastle United – after three injury-interrupted years at the club.
The midfielder hopes to be involved against Manchester City tonight.
Gosling was on the verge of joining Crystal Palace last month only for the proposed move to break down.
The 23-year-old could yet leave St James’s Park in this summer’s transfer window, but for the moment, he’s focused on forcing his way into Alan Pardew’s plans.
Gosling netted for United’s development squad in a 3-1 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday.
“It affects people differently, but I just get on with my job,” Gosling said.
“I’m employed by Newcastle United. It was no bother coming back, getting my head down and doing my work.”
Gosling joined United from Everton while recovering from cruciate ligament surgery, and his career on Tyneside has been blighted by a series of injuries.
He worked on his fitness over the summer in an attempt to be physically stronger for the new season.
“That’s what I’ve been working on through the summer - gym work and making my body stronger,” he added.
Gosling has featured in a role behind the striker in pre-season and while he prefers making runs from a deeper position, he’s hoping his versatility will be a strength to Newcastle.
He said: “It’s a role I like, but I probably prefer one deeper making late runs into the box. Playing up there with your back to goal is a different role.
“It’s probably one for a striker, but if I get a chance to play there, I’ll do my best.”
Gosling is likely to be among the subsitutes at the Etihad Stadium, where City manager Manuel Pellegrini could unleash some of his £90million worth of new signings.
His last goal for the club came in a 3-1 defeat at City the season before last.
“Every game in this league is tough and it’s getting tougher each year with the money coming in,” said Gosling.
“The top teams are spending on big, big players, but we’ve got big players as well.
“Hopefully, we can get one or two signings in to improve a little bit more.”