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Dwight Gayle back but another Newcastle star struggling for Norwich

6 years ago

Rafa Benitez has confirmed that Dwight Gayle is available to play at Carrow Road tonight.

However, he has admitted that he is waiting on Isaac Hayden to see if the midfielder can take any part against Norwich.

The United boss says that it is an ankle problem and how much it is on the mend, or giving him pain/hassle, can change on a daily basis.

Fair to say that Rafa has shown he isn’t another Alan Pardew (in many ways!), in terms of happily risking a player long-term by using players who are’t properly ready as a short-term fix.

However, I have to say that I think the Newcastle Manager must be desperate to bring Isaac Hayyden back in.

Jack Colback was shocking on Saturday and as usual gave nothing going forward, whilst putting in any number of daft needless reckless challenges that are always likely to give free-kicks, as well as an eventual card.

In the player ratings from fans on The Mag, Colback was ranked weakest player on the team, and against an in-form dangerous Norwich – Newcastle need Hayden’s energy and ability.

Not sure what Rafa intended when bringing in Isaac Hayden but doubt very much that he planned on using the 21 year old quite so often.

Due to Hayden’s form and the lack of viable alternatives, the former Arsenal player has featured in 32 matches already, only Lascelles (33) and Ritchie (34) have appeared more times.

At least Rafa Benitez has the luxury of a six day break after this game, with Newcastle not facing our old mates Aston Villa until Monday night, so hopefully that leaves him feeling to have more of a free hand when picking his team tonight.

Rafa Benitez:

“We are treating his (Isaac Hayden’s) ankle and then we will decide.

“Sometimes we think it is a couple of days, then not.

“We have to keep working on that.

“You cannot control (what happens) during the game if you have a bad tackle.

“We just have to wait and see how he progresses.”


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