SHANE Ferguson faces an uncertain future at Newcastle United.
Ferguson spent last season on loan at Birmingham City.
But the 22-year-old found starts hard to come by in the latter months of the club’s Championship campaign.
And the Northern Ireland international didn’t feature in the last few weeks of Birmingham’s ultimately successful battle against relegation.
He now finds himself out in the cold at St James’s Park.
Ferguson, like first-team outcasts Hatem Ben Arfa and Sylvain Marveaux, has been training with Newcastle’s development squad this week.
And he now faces a battle to persuade United manager Alan Pardew that he can be part of the future at St James’s Park, having seemingly been marginalised in the wake of his disappointing spell at St Andrew’s last term.
Speaking in March, Pardew hailed the form of midfielder Mehdi Abeid for loan club Panathinaikos, who won the Greek Cup and qualified for the Champions League.
Tellingly, he added: “Some of the others need to get going.
“I’ve not heard a lot of Ferguson at Birmingham – he’s not been featuring. He needs to get back in that team.”
Ferguson – who made his first-team debut four years ago and can play on the left wing and at full-back – showed great promise in his early performances for the club.
In the summer of 2011 he was handed a long-term deal which still has two years left to run.
Meanwhile, Abeid could make his first appearance for Newcastle in almost a year when the club take on Oldham Athletic at Boundary Park on Tuesday night.