With still three days to go before the sixth Premier league match of the season, it has been confirmed that seven senior Newcastle players will be unavailable for Saturday’s game.
The visit of Watford was always going to look one of United’s most winnable matches of the season but clearly it is very much a must-win with Newcastle rock bottom of the table.
Aleksandar Mitrovic misses the second game of his three match suspension, though he will be available for Chelsea on the following Saturday after also missing Sheffield Wednesday in the League Cup.
In addition, the long-term injured Sylvain Marveaux, Paul Dummett and Emmanuel Riviere won’t be available for the foreseeable future, as they are yet to join in full training.
In addition, Cheick Tiote, Steven Taylor and Mike Williamson all missed the trip to West Ham and Steve McClaren has now confirmed that they won’t make Saturday’s game either.
The bench on Monday featured only one defender in the inexperienced Jamaal Lascelles who is yet to play in the Premier League.
The Newcastle Head Coach spoke to the Shields Gazette and when asked if there were players who would return for the Watford game, Steve McClaren said:
“No, we have what we have got and we have got damn good players – we just didn’t do the basics (on Monday night).”
Mike Williamson was reported to have a bursa on his elbow in advance of Monday’s game and it was thought he would be ok for that game but in the end wasn’t fit enough to be included. The problem is obviously worse than first thought if he is already ruled out of the Watford game.
Steven Taylor missing West Ham was a big surprise and whilst Steve McClaren has confirmed that neither he nor Cheick Tiote will make Watford either, neither he or anyone else at the club have explained why the two players were missing, though some of the media have claimed that Taylor was ruled out through an unspecified injury.
As for Cheick Tiote, he had been on the bench for all four opening Premier League games, coming on as a sub against Swansea and Manchester united, as well as being in the starting eleven against Northampton in the League Cup.
As I say, no club explanation from the club as to his West Ham (or Watford) absence, although there were claims late on Tuesday night that Cheick Tiote was one of a number of players that the club weren’t happy with due to discipline/attitude issues.