Rafa Benitez hopes to have Ciaran Clark available on Monday night.

Newcastle’s player of the year has been sorely missed, Newcastle winning only two of the last six in his absence and conceding some very poor goals.

The combination of Hanley and Lascelles was disastrous at Ipswich, especially with neither of them possessing any pace.

If Ciaran Clark is fully fit it would be hard for Rafa to leave him out, the Manager saying he will watch the training sessions before the Preston game before deciding on Clark’s participation or not.

Always supportive of his players, Rafa Benitez claims that he has been ‘pleased with the attitude of the other players’ in Clark’s absence.

However, his overall blunt message after arguably the worst display of the season at Ipswich, is ‘we have to put things right now’, starting against Preston on Monday night.

Rafa Benitez:

“Ciaran Clark has been training with the team, and we still have two more sessions (before the Preston game).

“I think he will be available but we’ll assess him in the next two sessions.

“When you have players coming back from injury, it is always good news.

“The competition will increase and it is a positive for everyone in the training sessions. It is another option and that is always good.

“I think the other players were trying some were doing well, and some were not doing so well, because as a team, we made mistakes, and not just the defenders.

“When you have players doing well and the comprehension and understanding between them is good, then maybe sometimes you miss them.

“But in this case (Clark’s absence), I would say I was quite pleased with the attitude of the other players.

“Sometimes, you have to give credit to the other team, and sometimes, you pay for the mistakes you make, that happened against Leeds. The other day (at Ipswich), we did not play at the level we used to play, especially away, where we have a very good record.

“It was a bad game (at Ipswich) but we weren’t suffering. They didn’t have any chances, and then we made a mistake, gave them a chance. When we scored our goal, we made another mistake, gave them another chance. This is something we have to analyse, work on, and we have done that this week.

“When you play games in a short time, you need to recover. You have players that are more tired than you were expecting and then if something is wrong, it is not easy for some of them to recover.

“If something is right – when you score a goal or play well – it is easier.

“When you make a mistake and concede a goal, in your head, it is always more difficult. For some players, these situations are difficult, and each one has a way to react.

“In this case, we didn’t react properly and we have to put things right now.”



  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    Not to worry Rafa, Huddersfield & Reading have just handed us promotion on plate

    • Leicester Mag

      Truth is the championship is shjte. Only football team in it arguably is Fulham.

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        I glad we haven`t got to play them again

      • Lord

        Too right, if Fulham had found their feet a few games earlier in the season, we’d be in the playoffs.

        • nevfur

          The season is what it is, always ups and downs for everyone and good and bad luck. If we go up we deserve it. Fulham deserve to finish wheee they do and that’s below us. Good team though, one to avoid in the play off semi. If they don’t go up though expect to see the vultures around several in their squad.

        • gallowgate26

          I thought Fulham are the only team who played us off the park, out of all the defeats we’ve had this time. Out of all the teams who could go up, they are possibly the best equipped for PL. I would like a Northern team to get up though as the PL is moving southwards.

  • Albert Stubbins

    one more win and we’re up!!!! not even Jezza will be able to see the negatives in that one!! lol great result today without a ball being kicked!! NUFC/SMB

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      we`re nearly over the line, promotion at St James on Monday night,
      i bet Mike turns up !

      • Jezza

        Yes we just need one more red and a colour to leave Huddersfield needing snookers.

  • daveb

    Party time on Monday night

    • Jezza

      Let’s hope so. My nerves can’t take much more.

  • Vodkamagpie

    One thing with the Preston game. Keep your eye of Ben pearson, I fancy him quite abit. Good first touch pass, think he could challenge hayden for starting spot in the PREMIER LEAGUE.

  • Alreet

    I thought hudds would get turned over now down to our own destiny. At home against a team we already beat twice. Lets make it 3 and get to party time. Out of this crock of a league.

  • Andy Mac

    By “we” Rafa I’m assuming you meant you ? Yes its time to put things right, pick your best XI and an attacking line up and the rest will happen.

    I just dont want to watch us crawl over the line with Colback and Goof shoring up the defence hoping for a wonder goal from Ritchie in the 85th minute.

  • Mayor Vaughn

    Only Huddersfield can catch us now, our huge goal difference has saved the day.
    One win or two draws required lol