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

With 24 hours to go, the United boss delivered the news that all Newcastle fans wanted to hear.

Star striker Dwight Gayle is ‘fine’ and will be travelling to Huddersfield with the rest of the squad.

Tuesday night at Brighton had seen the Manager forced to turn to usual left-sided midfielder Yoan Gouffran as a temporary sticking plaster, due to the shortage of suitable alternatives available to do a job in Gayle’s absence.

Needing a mobile front man to keep the Brighton defence occupied, Gouffran did that up to a point but when he messed up a golden chance one on one with the keeper, there were only two words that went through your head…well alright, there were those words as well but can’t really use them, so ‘Dwight Gayle’ will just have to do.

If any one or more of Mitrovic, Perez and Murphy start at Huddersfield, they offer very little pace, if any, between them.

The hosts play very good possession football and Rafa Benitez will be intent on pressing as much as possible to knock them out of their rhythm, then at the same time looking to get on the front foot as much as possible.

Clearly buoyant after Brighton, the United boss will be sending his team out to try and finish the job off – six points out of six against the nearest challengers would/should take Newcastle into a very very commanding position.

First quotes from the Rafa Benitez Huddersfield Press Conference:

“Tuesday night has given us more confidence for the future… It was important for the next games.

To have beaten Brighton, and also the number of games we’ve won away, shows that the team know what to do.

“In the first game we played against Huddersfield, they were well organised and pressing well.

Dwight Gayle is fine – he is in the squad.”

(Fans commenting on articles is a big part of The Mag but we have had to make an enforced change.

Moving into March, the Livefyre system we had been using is no longer be available.

So we searched for the best choice around and have now moved to Disqus.

A great way to join the debate on all of The Mag articles, if you haven’t used Disqus before, sign up via social media or the simple email option in the comments section below.)

  • Wor Monga

    We’ll get on the front foot by using real pace up front, on the counter…whilst always maintaining our solidity at the back…for that reason a fit Dwight Gayle is the best forward we have in the squad to accomplish that…and it will be great to see him back, down there!!!

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    Bench i think, Gayle can`t be match fit considering the time he`s been out

    • Wor Monga

      Rein yourself in…he’s played 20 matches, and he won’t be expected to play a full 90+ minutes, but he’ll get on…that’s for sure!!!

      • MichaelMaximusMoose


        • Wor Lass

          You`ve noticed!

      • Delashio


  • Paul Patterson

    Just don’t start him. Give him 20 minutes . .

  • Polarboy

    Good choice on the disqus message system. As far as Gayle goes I think we should stick him on for the last 20 minutes, maybe half hour, when the game is starting to get stretched and people are tiring. Don’t see the point of starting someone who won’t be fully match fit. We should be confident that we can more than cope without one player for the majority of a match.

    • Delashio

      He wont start anyway. Rafa isnt stupid pal.

      • Polarboy

        Yeah well I was just giving my own opinion. I don’t presume to predict or critique Rafa’s selections, unless they’re really weird, which hasn’t happened as of yet.

  • 1957

    The news I really want to hear is Atsu keeps his place, our best player for me on Tuesday.

  • Corsacan

    I think we should attack from the off, none of this darlow to Clark to colback to ledlin then back to darlow. This gets us nowhere.

    • Tony gamble

      I agree, we aint no barca, get the ball to shelvey, get the wingers running and play the ball high up the pitch at every opportunity. Press them back and i think we will get a farely comfortable 3 points

      • Delashio

        Rubbish. Fairly easy lol.

  • Cuh

    I’d start Mitrovic and Perez for this one

  • Geordie-7676

    Gayle will start from the bench, and i personally see murphy getting the nod in front of Diame. We shall see though eh!

    • Anita kick up the Hoop

      How many chances Will Collback get to show us how bad he is? .. Diame should play alongside Shelvey with Atsu and Ritchie wide and Mitro and Gouf as forwards.

  • Anita kick up the Hoop

    I don’t agree that a “mobile” striker gets the best from our side .. I think Gayle (though prolific when striking at goal) struggles to lead the line, be a focal point of our attack.
    Palace fans warned that although he was always their best finisher he could never effectively lead the line when one up front was the managers game plan.
    Everything I e seen from him backs their assessments up, if we are clever we will use his goals for promotion then sell him on while his stock is high for silly money …. along with a big chunk of the promotion squad and get quickly down to a huge rebuild..

    • Delashio

      To say all that is wrong as it always depends who you are playing.

    • Delashio

      And you dont sell all your decent players mate. You keep them but buy better and they drop down the pecking order resulting in a stronger squad. Thats how you improve your team.

      • Anita kick up the Hoop

        We need to sell most of this squad if we have any ambition as a premier league team .. we will never see money again for Gayle like we could expect after his goals at championship level.. I’d sell him, Dummet,Diame, Shelvey,Collback and Murphy the minute we get promoted.. none are able to cut it at the top level

  • Delashio

    Im really going to enjoy watching todays game and hopefully we manage to get some sort of result but it wont be easy.