Massadio Haidara has revealed that he is now at long last back in light training with the rest of the squad.

Three and a half years at Newcastle United and only 23 league starts since his move from Nancy in January 2013.

A bit like Siem de Jong, it is hard to muster any enthusiasm in a playing sense due to so few games and indifferent form when he did play – but on a human level it is good to see him fight back from yet another setback.

Definitely coming into the category of ‘flatters to deceive’, the odd time he has looked like he maybe has got what it takes but on such small evidence you will believe it when you see it.

Rafa Benitez has indicated that Siem de Jong could be back in around a week or so and with the Dutch international, I simply don’t even think of him now as a potential player.

Maybe one or both of them could be real assets but the chances of them even staying fit long enough to potentially show that are daunting enough.

One thing for sure is that we desperately need a better option at left-back, with Rafa Benitez batting back the question when asked at what position the Brendan Galloway loan deal was at.

Massadio Haidara talking to the official club website:

“I feel really happy, because it’s been a long wait. My meniscus was injured twice and it was hard but now I’m happy to be back in training. It’s not full training but to be with the lads on the pitch is an amazing feeling,

“It has been very, very long but I have had good friends and family around me to keep my head up and try to do good work, to be back as good as possible.

“I think that’s the key, because if you are lonely and you have no one next to you, your head is down and it’s hard to get up. I had the good support of my family and friends, and the fans too, who always send me messages saying have a good recovery and get well soon. This makes me happy and I tried to do my best to come back as quickly as possible.

“The lads too – when I came back on the pitch this morning, they were very happy for me. They said ‘take it easy now, it’s your first training, and just build it up over the few weeks coming’, and that’s what I will do.

“Now I’m back in training, it’s very, very good.

“Last season, it was hard to see your teammates in a difficult position, when no one could play left-back. That’s why I tried to push maybe too quick to come back, to help the team, and maybe it was a mistake.

“I tried it and now I know it was not a good solution. Now this season is different – we’re in the Championship and the ambition is to get up straight away. We haven’t started well with the results but I think that we didn’t deserve to lose the games.

“The season is long – we’ve only had two games from the 46 – so we have many games left. We have to do something and for me, if we win the first game, there’ll be a good series of results for us.

“Now I’ve come back from injury, I have to build my condition, because I can’t start games straight away so I need some weeks’ training.

 “As soon as I feel ready and the staff think I’m ready to play, I’ll be involved and will do what I can do. If the manager wants me to play, I have to be ready and give my best to help the team.

“It’s good when you have competition in the team, in the squad, because you have someone behind you pushing you, wanting to play instead of you. You have to do well every day in training and in the games too, so it’s good when you have competition – not just at left-back, but every position on the pitch. It’s good for the team.”

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