Emre raring to go

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Emre Belozoglu is relishing being able to play a role in Newcastle United's hectic Christmas programme.

The Turkey international has endured a stop-start time on Tyneside since joining the club in the summer from Internazionale.

He has not played since the end of last month due to a hamstring injury, but the midfielder is available for Boxing Day's trip to Liverpool, live on PremPlus.

The 25-year-old is unsure if he will start at Anfield, but is happy to be back involved in Graeme Souness' plans.

With four games in eight days, Emre is keen to play a part as The Magpies chase a spot in Europe for next season.

"The Christmas period is very important for us and a big chance to get into a Champions League position," said Emre.

"I have been told the Newcastle fans enjoy the Christmas games and I'd like to wish them a Happy Christmas by helping win some matches.

"If we can avoid defeat in these games, then the future is looking very good going into the New Year.

"I want to play in as many games as possible and if I can't start, then I at least want to be on the bench because we need a strong bench over the festive games.

"Four games in eight days is very difficult for any squad."

After picking up his hamstring problem in the Carling Cup defeat to Wigan Athletic, Emre feels he is now fit enough to return.

He added: "It has been three weeks since the injury at Wigan and it feels much better, but I need to build up some strength, hopefully during the Christmas games.

"It has been the second time I have had this problem, which is frustrating because I've never had it before in my career, just at Newcastle."