It was a surprise for Newcastle fans to see both Isaac Hayden and Jack Colback totally missing from the matchday squad against Burton.
On Saturday, Jack Colback had played the whole 90 minutes in the win over Wigan, whilst Isaac Hayden made his comeback from injury and came off the bench for the final 20 minutes in that game.
Neither player looking to have any problems.
Against Burton, Mohammed Diame was dropped back to play alongside Jonjo Shelvey, having a marginally better game than his usual effort as the number 10 behind the main striker.
However, Rafa Benitez has explained that he had no choice.
The United boss revealing that Colback had been suffering from a fever in the lead up to the game, whilst Isaac Hayden was ‘tired’ after his comeback on the Saturday and they didn’t want to ‘take any risks’.
As for this Saturday art Hillsborough, it sounds as though Rafa is more hopeful of getting Isaac Hayden available again, with the benefit of a ‘couple of days to treat him’. Though Jack Colback sounds more a case of wait and see in terms of how long it takes him to get over his illness – Jonjo Shelvey wasn’t able to start at Birmingham after not recovering in time from his high temperature/fever.
Little doubt that most Newcastle fans see Isaac Hayden as the best partner for Jonjo Shelvey and we could do with his energy/pace against a Sheffield Wednesday side who are bound to play a high temp game, to try and get at NUFC from the kick-off.
“Jack Coback was feeling bad during the (Tuesday) night, a lot of fever, and he was not available.
“Isaac Hayden was a little bit tired after the last game (played final 20 minutes v Wigan) and so we didn’t want to take any risks.”
‘Would you hope to have them back for Sheffield Wednesday?’
“We will see the resolution of Jack obviously but I think Hayden could be fine. A couple of days to treat him and to work with him.”
‘Chancel Mbemba back in for his first start in quite a long time, what was the thinking behind that?’
“We wanted to change a little bit (Mbemba replaced Hanley) and give chances to all the players.
“He was training well and I think it was the right time to do it.”