DAN GOSLING was a forgotten man at Newcastle – but he has been playing so well on loan at Blackpool that he now believes his career is back on track.
Just four years ago the former Plymouth youngster, who Everton paid a reported £2m to sign as a 17-year-old, was being tipped for England and top flight honours after he scored an extra-time winner in an FA Cup Merseyside derby.
But things have not exactly gone to plan for the 23-year-old since. In March 2010 Gosling ruptured a cruciate ligament against Wolves, which brought his Everton career to an end.
A contract dispute followed that summer, which resulted in him moving to Newcastle despite the serious knee injury.
His recovery took longer than was first thought and that combined with a large number of overseas signings means Gosling has started just one Premier League game for the Magpies.
But since moving to Bloomfield Road in October, he has been superb and is thrilled to be looking ahead at long last.
“It’s just fantastic to be playing regular first team football and I’m in a really good place here at Blackpool. The team’s doing well and my own performances have also been pleasing, so it couldn’t have gone much better,” said Gosling.
“It’s been just what I needed. You get your consistency and form playing week in week out, and my performances have been improving week by week, so hopefully I can keep fit and push on now.
“I’ve just never had the game time I first imagined I would have when I signed for Newcastle. The circumstances haven’t been right and a lot of players have been coming in and going out, and I just haven’t really had much of a chance.
“I don’t think I ever started on a level playing field with them to try and nail a spot down, so that was really frustrating.
“If I get given the right opportunity, the right team and the right manager I’m confident of getting back to playing regularly in the Premier League.”
Seasiders boss Paul Ince moved for Gosling after influential Pool captain Barry Ferguson needed ankle surgery at the start of October.
And Gosling says that working with the former England, Inter Milan and Manchester United midfielder has taken his game to a new level.
“It’s one of the reasons I came here. The gaffer was a quality central midfielder in his day, so every day on the training ground he gives me a lot of tips. I’ve learned so much in such a short time at the club already,” added Gosling.
“Positioning wise I have really improved. He was a holding midfielder and a tough-tackler, and he wants me to implement those kinds of characteristics in the role I play here, which I’ve think I’ve done so far.
“I still get forward as much as I can and try and nick a goal, but with the formation we play the gaffer wants me to hold the midfield together in the way Barry does.
“Things have gone well for me and the club since I’ve been here and hopefully we can push on together, win a few more matches and stay in the top six.
“I’m here until January for now and we will see what happens at the end of that. I’d certainly consider staying longer if that’s what the clubs agreed.”