Griffin ponders Magpies future

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ANDY GRIFFIN has conceded that he may have to leave Newcastle United to find first team football.

The full back made just four appearances for Newcastle last season and is growing increasingly frustrated with life in the reserves, comparing his situation that of a former Magpie.

"When Andy Cole left Manchester United for Blackburn it wasn't because he wanted to leave Old Trafford, it was because he wanted to play first team football," explained Griffin.

"That is the same for me. There are few better clubs to be at than Newcastle United and I love the place to bits, but I cannot risk seeing my career suffer by not playing regular first team football.

"I signed a three-year contract last summer on the basis that I would be in the first team, but that has not happened.

"I was playing first team football when I was 18, albeit at Stoke City. I am 23 now and I'm stuck in the reserves. That is no good for me and I may have to leave as a result."

The former England Under-21 international did however insist that he had not asked to leave and still had hopes of forcing his way into Bobby Robson's plans.

"I have not asked to leave, but I may have to play football regularly," added Griffin. "At the moment, I just hope I can have a good pre-season and show the manager what I can do."

Meanwhile, Newcastle have been linked with a move for Uruguayan hit-man Dario Silva.

Newcastle may view the lightning-quick Malaga marksman as a good addition for the Champions League campaign, although in Alan Shearer, Carl Cort, Craig Bellamy and Shola Ameobi The Magpies seem well covered in the striking department.