Newcastle first team coach Paul Simpson, says that the management need as many players as possible ‘banging on the door’ wanting to play.
Ahead of the Arsenal match today, Simpson has given a fitness update on three players who could make a difference if they are involved.
The first team coach says that Moussa Sissoko has joined in full training the last couple of days with the rest of the players, with no apparent reaction to the injury he picked up at Old Trafford.
The only question now seems to be whether they think he could break down if playing 100% in a match situation – with no match for 16 days after Arsenal, although Sissoko is sure to be called up by France, the odds must be that the French midfielder will be selected.
Papiss Cisse missed Northampton on Tuesday through illness and Steve McClaren had said that he wasn’t sure whether the striker would be back for Arsenal. However, Paul Simpson has revealed that the forward has now recovered from that illness and was back in training on Friday.
I think we can assume that the Senegalese striker will be on bench duty today, as he was at Old Trafford. coming on for the last couple of minutes for Mitrovic.
As for Siem de Jong, Simpson describes him as ‘getting stronger as he goes along’ but showing his quality against Northampton is a bit of a leap to then doing it against Arsenal, at least from the start.
My money is on de Jong coming off the bench late on, especially if we are looking for a goal.
“We want options, we want as many players banging on the door as possible.”
“Moussa Sissoko has come through a couple of days training with the group, we need to make a decision as to whether he is ready or it is too early.”
Siem de Jong:
“Siem de Jong is getting stronger as he goes along, then last weekend I though Ayoze (Perez) was excellent in his wide left position.”
“Papiss Cisse is back from his illness and he has trained again.”
“The problem is that between now and 12.45 on Saturday we need to try and pick a team that is going to get a result against Arsenal.”