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Gutierrez wants youngsters to step up

1 November 2012 14:36

Newcastle midfielder Jonas Gutierrez says the club's young players must make the most of any first-team opportunities which come their way.

Manager Alan Pardew has taken to rotating his squad for recent Europa League ties, handing the likes of Shane Ferguson and James Tavernier starting berths whilst resting established stars.

And Gutierrez believes these youngsters must do their utmost to impress the manager when handed the chance to play.

"They have to be ready for the opportunities that they are going to have this year," Gutierrez told reporters.

"The young players are better off for it. They must try to do their best. If not, next year will come and they won't play if another player is brought in. They have to work hard and not let the opportunity go.

"We have a number of young players who are training really well and playing well in the team – Fergie (Ferguson), Sammy (Ameobi), Bigi (Gael Bigirmana), Mehdi (Abeid), Tav (Tavernier).

"They know they will have opportunities and have to do it right. If they do the manager will think he doesn't need another player. They must do it right and prove to the manager they can play."

Newcastle are having to juggle their Europa League campaign with a push to improve on last season's fifth-placed Premier League finish, and the Argentine has admitted it is hard to find form with frequent squad rotation.

"The team changing all the time does make it more difficult to find a rhythm, but that is football and there's nothing we can do," he said.

"We just have to work hard and educate ourselves to do the right things and have the best fitness and when the manager needs us we're ready.

"It's different. It's not the same when you have to travel in the midweek. It's difficult to arrive back at 3am, so training days are difficult because it's not a normal week.

"That's what is going to happen this season, so we have to learn about travelling and playing and when to rest.

"Rest is really important when you have so many games. This squad has adapted well. We are doing really good and having good results in Europe. If we go through you never know what might happen."

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