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

The United boss having both positive and negative news on the injury front.

Dwight Gayle will definitely still be missing on Monday night but Ciaran Clark is now back training with the other players and barring any reaction, should be available for selection.

Amongst the players pictured training today was Aleksandar Mitrovic and he scored four goals in a handful of days in October against Preston, so will be hoping to follow up his improved display v Leeds a week ago.

Andrew Madley took charge of that 6-0 League Cup win when Newcastle hammered Preston and Mitrovic got two of them.

However, this time Newcastle fans have been calling foul play because as a Huddersfield fan, Madley could be seen as having a major interest in or match, especially if Wagner’s team close the gap to four points on Saturday.

When asked about the refereeing appointment, Rafa limited himself to saying  he was ‘surprised’ that the Huddersfield fan had been handed our game.

First quotes from the Rafa Benitez Leeds Press Conference:

Going up depends only on us…not the social media, the websites, or newspapers.

“Dwight is still not ready but Clark is training with the team.

“When you have players coming back from injuries it’s good news for us. The competition increases.

“We have to do our job. The only thing we can control is our team. We have to concentrate.

I am happy for Jamaal Lascelles (being named in PFA team of the year), a young defender who can still improve.”

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  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    No mention of his other 2 players in the PFA team then, no good news about Dwight then but either of the 2 big lads can do a job up front

  • David Bruce

    In Rafa we trust

    • Kev Newcastle England

      Cringeworthy Lascelles in Pfa player of year team

      • Wor Lass

        There is something cringeworthy on here!

    • love toon despite

      Oh no not another Rafa can do no wrong merchant

      • Geordiegiants

        I don’t think people think he does no wrong. People think that he gets more right than wrong, as proven in his track record. So as positive FANS we have only one person to put our trust in. If this fails we will be back to the sack the board era.

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    Good news Clark is fit, Bad news so is Lascelles

    • Cuh736

      Would you rather have Mbemba?

      • Street78

        Would you not?

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        i`d rather have anybody

  • Cuh736

    Last night, I googled Rafa Benitez, and it was the first reminder in a long time that he actually coached Chelsea and Real Madrid. I’be seen so many articles on here trying to spite him, blame him for bad results, demean his tactics, question his squad selection, that I actually forgot he was a world class manager.

    Just be careful we don’t chase him away. Because it may be another 10-20 years before someone else takes the gamble on us again if we duck this up

    • love toon despite

      What a boring comment

    • nufcslf

      In a so called results business, the second half of the season has been shocking. This falls on the manager and coaching staff picking the players and tactics used. Allowing a 3rd bottom side in Blackburn do the double over you and twice blowing 5 point leads at the top also falls on team selection…with unnecessary team rotation used in matches where fit professional footballers had a weeks rest…also falls directly on the managers head. Not to mention the 5 home losses. Could and should be out of site by now, but instead it has turned into depending on Huddersfield and Reading to hopefully drop points. I do hope Rafa stays and fatso backs him in the summer, but sadly won’t hold my breath.

  • love toon despite

    For those Rafa lovers I have just seen him walk on water, wow it was amazing plus he then stood there and parted the water as I watched on……
    Jesus Christ!!!
    I like Rafa up to a point but come on guys………

  • Thefootballerwhocouldfly

    Having supported the club since Gordon Lee & the Richrard Dinnis years Rafa can & will continue to walk on water as far as I’m concerned. It’s only when Ashley intervenes does the problem lie. Let’s hope we’re promoted Monday night & then we’ll see in the summer as to our ambitions beyond 17th in the premiership

  • Blackburn1066

    Rafa is a good boss of people, he is not god Kev is God Ha ha