Newcastle United boss Alan Pardew has assured Gabriel Obertan he still has a part to play at St James' Park.
The French winger, who joined the Magpies from Manchester United in 2011, has struggled to make an impact on Tyneside.
He has become a target for the boo boys as a result, which in turn has led to him retreating further into the shadows.
Obertan was, however, returned to the first team fold for a Capital One Cup clash with Leeds United on Wednesday and responded with a lively display off the bench.
On the 24-year-old's future, with a loan move still being mooted, Pardew told the Evening Chronicle: "At times Gabby has come in for a bit of stick here.
"His pace is still a real asset to us - especially when we take the lead. He can come off the bench and stretch teams.
"He came off the bench against Leeds and could have had a couple of goals."
He added on a player who looks likely to stay put until at least January: "Gabby's desperate to do well here.
"We have more options now. I have to be able to make changes."