Rafa Benitez had hoped to get some good work in with the majority of his squad who weren’t on international duty.

However, on the Newcastle injuries front, his training sessions have taken a blow.

How much of a blow is doubtful, as it is Massadio Haidara who has limped out of the training session with a twisted knee.

On the personal front you have to feel sorry for the injury-plagued defender but the optimistic noises about him possibly playing against Norwich, were surely just that – optimistic noises.

After so long out and his past record of injury problems, it would have taken a giant leap of faith to believe the French left-back could have started against Norwich.

Colback is obviously suspended and Dummett remains injured, so it is as we were at the end of Sunday’s derby.

After Rafa Benitez’ surprise move of shifting Moussa Sissoko to fill in there against Sunderland, there must surely be every chance of him staying there against the Canaries.

Particularly so, with the more positive news today that Cheick Tiote is back in full training with the group after an unspecified injury problem.

A lot of ifs and buts…however, if Daryl Janmaat proves fit enough to start against Norwich after limping off against Sunderland and missing international duty.

I could see the possibility of Tiote going in alongside/behind Jonjo Shelvey and maybe Sissoko and Janmaat playing as wing-backs in a 3-5-2/5-3-2 system.

Both players have the energy to do it, if fully fit, and it could free up things so Rafa Benitez could have more attacking options in a game that Newcastle surely have to win if they are going to stand a decent chance of staying up.

Rafa Benitez:

“We don’t know (how bad) yet but he (Haidara) twisted his knee.

“I think he will have a problem and now we have to manage the problem that we have.

“Jack Colback can’t play (v Norwich and Southampton) but we will see what the doctor says about Haidara – if we have problems you have to find solutions.

“We have an international break too, you have to wait and after they come back, start thinking about the team.”