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Rafa Benitez Rotherham press conference: Confirms Mitrovic & Gayle not ready and talks of Shelvey influence

5 years ago

The Rafa Benitez Rotherham Press Conference has taken place on Friday lunchtime.

A lot of questions for the Newcastle boss today but not many answers, or at least not the answers fans wanted to hear.

Rafa confirming that neither Aleksandar Mitrovic or Dwight Gayle will be available for selection against Rotherham, indicating though that he thought the Serbian would be back before the country’s top scorer.

The Manager did though welcome back the presence of his playmaker Jonjo Shelvey with his ‘technique and vision’, Newcastle only winning two of the five matches Shelvey was suspended for and the midfielder making all three goals on Wednesday night.

As always, Rafa Benitez says this won’t be an easy game, even if it is the league leaders at home to the bottom club who are 39 points below.

Speculation about goalkeepers this week, with claims that Tim Krul could be back from Ajax early and Rob Elliot could go out on loan. However, Rafa indicates that he expects Krul to stay in Holand until the end of the season and Elliot to continue training and getting sharper by playing for the reserves.

Same old with the transfer front, no movement on Cheick Tiote going out as yet and continuing to work to try and add quality to the squad.

First quotes from the Rafa Benitez Rotherham Press Conference:

“It’s a game that obviously we’ll try to win. Because of their (Rotherham’s) position, people will say it’ll be be easy but it will not be easy.

“To have a player with his (Jonjo Shelvey’s) technique and vision is crucial.

“We have little knocks, little things, but I think they will be fine. Mitrovic still not ready, Ameobi and Sterry in the squad.

“Every day he (Dwight Gayle) is improving.

“In terms of players in or out, we are still in the same situation. We are still working but nothing yet.

“I am happy with him (Rob Elliot) and he must continue to train and play with the under 23s

“He (Tim Krul) needs time away and some football (at Ajax). We have three keepers (currently at Newcastle – Darlow, Elliot, Sels) here.”


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