The England international has been hit by a number of injuries in the last few seasons and the latest, a hamstring problem, sidelined him from April-October. An eye injury and then a badly cut thigh halted his comeback but he’s now started the last seven games and returning to the form that earned him his 16 caps to date.
We saw first-hand what a fit and flying Dyer is capable of when he slotted home the opening goal in our 3-1 defeat at St James’ Park three weeks ago and JJ – fighting back to fitness himself following an ankle injury at Arsenal on December 2 – feels his return is key to Newcastle’s revival.
“Kieron coming back is a massive thing and gives them something extra up front they didn't have when he was injured,” said JJ at Spurs Lodge.
“That threat he poses in getting in behind defences obviously isn't there when he's not around.
“Having him back is a massive boost for Newcastle and Kieron is my friend, so I'm delighted to see him back. He's had a tough time in terms of his injuries and it's great to see him doing well again.
“I speak to him regularly and I'll wish him all the best this week - hopefully he won't be on fire this Sunday!”
Newcastle struggled at the start of the season and found themselves in the bottom three in November, but back-to-back away draws against City and Arsenal helped them turn the corner and put together a run of five wins in six games. They then lost against Everton and Bolton but arrive at the Lane on Sunday after battling draws against United and Birmingham in the FA Cup last weeend.
“They are definitely improving. They've got a few wins under their belt and that's seen the confidence improve as well,” added JJ, before casting his eye over the midfield he’ll have to miss out on tackling this weekend.
“Their midfield has a bit of everything - guile, strength, Scott Parker loves a tackle, Nicky Butt has all the experience, Emre is a good footballer. They've got it all there but some days it happens for them, others it doesn't and it's the consistency everyone is striving for in the Premiership.”
Jermaine Jenas is delighted to see his friend and former team-mate Kieron Dyer back in action at Newcastle United.