Ranger’s still got ‘a lot of making up to do’ at Newcastle – Pardew

NET GAIN ... Nile Ranger scored on his first appearance for Newcastle's Under-21s this season.
NET GAIN ... Nile Ranger scored on his first appearance for Newcastle's Under-21s this season.
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NILE Ranger’s back up and running at Newcastle United – but the striker won’t be involved against Maritimo tonight.

The 21-year-old netted a goal in Monday night’s reserve derby against Sunderland.

It was Ranger’s first appearance for the club, at any level, since March.

Ranger – whose St James’s Park career has been beset by off-the-field issues – had previously been in the cold.

However, there’s a glimmer of hope for the Londoner – if he continues to arrive on time for training and apply himself on the field.

“He’s fit for the first time,” Pardew told the Gazette.

He’s been on time, and he’s beginning to hopefully put himself in order and be a professional footballer.

“At the moment, it’s good news on Nile, and let’s hope he stays like that.”

While Ranger is edging closer to first-team football, he is still some way off a recall to Pardew’s squad.

“He’s got a lot of making up to do with me and the group,” added Pardew.

Ranger netted just eight minutes into the Professional Development League game against Sunderland game at the Stadium of Light.

And reserve team coach Willie Donachie praised his “pacy and powerful” performance after the fixture, which ended 2-2.

Ranger hasn’t made a Premier League appearance for the club since May last year.