Florian Thauvin and Papiss Cisse have been told to be patient at Newcastle United – as they WILL get their chance.
The pair have been on the bench for in recent weeks.
But head coach Steve McClaren insists they are close to starting games for the club, which is battling to climb out of the Premier League’s relegation zone.
Cisse – who wears the iconic No 9 jersey – is used to leading the line for Newcastle week in, week out when fit, while Thauvin arrived in the summer with a big reputation and a £12million price tag.
However, summer signing Aleksandar Mitrovic has quickly established himself as McClaren’s first-choice striker after his move from Anderlecht.
Thauvin hasn’t started a league game since September, and a French report last month claimed that the winger had become unsettled at Newcastle just months after joining from Olympique Marseille.
We always stress the most important people are sat on the bench ready to come on and that’s what we want to see when they get an opportunitySteve McClaren
“I always talk not about the 11, but about the whole squad,” said McClaren, whose side take on Bournemouth at Dean Court this afternoon.
“That’s what’s most important. We have good players on the periphery of the team – Cisse, (Siem) de Jong and Thauvin.”
Aked if Thauvin was a long way from starting, McClaren said: “No, not at all. He came on against Sunderland and showed what he can do. He’s training well, as they all are, and that’s what you need.
“We always stress the most important people are sat on the bench ready to come on, and that’s what we want to see when they get an opportunity.
“We can go on and be better, but we’re just taking those first steps at the moment.”
McClaren, however, had admitted that Cisse is “frustrated” with life on the bench.
Asked how Cisse has responded to his spell out of the team, McClaren said: “He’s doing well, although it has been frustrating for him.
“Mitro has come in and has become an instant hit with the fans.
“Papiss is responding great. Weeks ago, people talked about him and Cheick (Tiote) – the stories of this that and the other – but Cheick has been a breath of fresh air.
“And Papiss has kept his performance levels up and his mood. He just has to wait his opportunity.”
Meanwhile, forward Siem de Jong, unlike Thauvin and Cisse, played for the club’s Under-21s on Monday night to top up his fitness after asking if he could play.