In the build-up to the Derby County match, Rafa Benitez went into detail as to why a big squad was so essential for this Championship season, or indeed any other.
The Newcastle boss explaining how he wasn’t being a victim of some self-imposed rigid system that meant players would be rotated in and out of the team regardless of circumstances.
Benitez detailing that it was vital to use the squad as and when necessary, to prevent injuries, keep the players as fit as possible, and promote competition for places in the first eleven.
Rafa Benitez 9 September 2016:
“So I am not thinking we need to rotate, or we have to rotate, because it is an idea that I wake up in the morning and say we have to rotate.
“No, it is because it is important to keep the competition between players, we know it is important to keep them as fit as possible, to prevent injuries and to have fresh legs.
“We have a lot of games and not much time, so it is important to have the squad – the players have to understand it is this way as well.”
Only six games into the Championship season and the benefits of the squad Rafa has assembled are now already becoming obvious.
On the eve of the game at QPR, the United Manager has indicated that two Newcastle players are set to miss the game.
Rafa Benitez saying that both Jack Colback and Yoan Gouffran are carrying knocks and it will be very surprising if they are risked.
The great thing is that he has any number of options and the likes of Isaac Hayden was probably set to come back in anyway, whether at Colback’s expense or not.
Whilst QPR no doubt will have to rely on their better players who also played on Saturday (home draw against bottom club Blackburn), Rafa Benitez will have the luxury of resting Colback and Gouffran. Preventing the chance of a more serious injury if he’d been forced to put them on the pitch again.
Rafa Benitez 12 September 2016:
“Gouffran has a problem with his hip, Colback is a little tight (hamstring).
“We have some players with knocks which we will have to consider, as we will have played two games in a few days.
“Some players are not playing and they want to play and the difficult thing for me is telling a player he will not play.
“What I do want to keep telling them is that, even if they don’t play, they will be part of the team and part of any success.”