JONAS Gutierrez’s determined to finally get his season up and running – and help Newcastle United’s Premier League charge.
The winger has played just 63 minutes of football this season.
Gutierrez suffered a hamstring injury in the club’s season-opening defeat to Manchester City, and also had a spell of leave in his native Argentina.
But the 30-year-old is now fit and available, and looking to add to his 195 Newcastle appearances.
Gutierrez played 90 minutes for United’s Under-21 side last week.
The Argentina international scored and had a hand in Newcastle’s other three goals in a 4-1 home win over Norwich City on Friday afternoon.
And Gutierrez is now waiting for his next first-team opportunity at the club, which is sixth in the table ahead of the Boxing Day home game against Stoke City.
“I feel fit,” Gutierrez said.
“The most important thing for me now is to train hard and to wait.
“I try to be 100 per cent to fight for a place.”
Gutierrez – who joined United from Real Mallorca in the summer of 2008 – was keen to play the full 90 minutes against Norwich along with long-serving defender Steven Taylor.
And the midfielder put in an energetic performance as Newcastle came from behind to win convincingly at Whitley Park.
“The goal wasn’t important,” he said. “It was important to play the 90 minutes.
“I haven’t been involved for a long time, so it’s good to be playing again.
“I know it’s not the same as a first-team game, but it’s always important to play 90 minutes.
“It’s different – the level is not the same – but it helps your fitness.”
Gutierrez’s last United appearance came off the bench in the club’s win at Cardiff City in early October.
Later that month he was allowed to return to Argentina for personal reasons by Newcastle manager Alan Pardew.
Gutierrez has been a near ever present in the Premier League in the last three seasons.