HATEM Ben Arfa is back in the Newcastle United fold – and pushing for a start against Everton.
The forward came off the bench against Crystal Palace to make his first appearance in more than a month on Saturday.
And Ben Arfa set up Papiss Demba Cisse’s dramatic winning goal at St James’s Park.
The 27-year-old’s workrate has been questioned this season, but he backed up his guile with graft against Palace.
Newcastle take on Everton at home tomorrow night and Ben Arfa is in manager Alan Pardew’s thoughts, having energised United after his introduction.
Assistant manager John Carver said: “He’s that type of player – he’s a creative player.
“He’s had a few issues over the last few weeks, and he’s been working on his fitness as he’s had a few injuries, but he’s got to continue to work hard.
“I know the manager’s talked about him working hard for the team when he is in the team.
“That needs to continue. The one thing we have is a hard-working team. That’s the team ethic. That’s what the fans expect.
“We see the quality he has when he’s in possession of the ball.”
Cisse’s headed goal, scored at the Gallowgate end of St James’s Park, came in the 94th minute.
Carver thought Ben Arfa was going to shoot when he shaped up on the right, but he instead delicately lifted the ball to Cisse at the far post.
“As long as we have got time on the clock, I think we believe that we can score right up to the last minute,” said Carver.
“We’ve have done it on a number of occasions, especially going down that hill.
“When Hatem came inside, I thought he was going to shoot, but he had the sense to stick it on Papiss’ head, and he probably took the hardest chance, because it came quickly.”