Rafa Benitez hopes to have Ciaran Clark available on Monday night.
Newcastle’s player of the year has been sorely missed, Newcastle winning only two of the last six in his absence and conceding some very poor goals.
The combination of Hanley and Lascelles was disastrous at Ipswich, especially with neither of them possessing any pace.
If Ciaran Clark is fully fit it would be hard for Rafa to leave him out, the Manager saying he will watch the training sessions before the Preston game before deciding on Clark’s participation or not.
Always supportive of his players, Rafa Benitez claims that he has been ‘pleased with the attitude of the other players’ in Clark’s absence.
However, his overall blunt message after arguably the worst display of the season at Ipswich, is ‘we have to put things right now’, starting against Preston on Monday night.
“Ciaran Clark has been training with the team, and we still have two more sessions (before the Preston game).
“I think he will be available but we’ll assess him in the next two sessions.
“When you have players coming back from injury, it is always good news.
“The competition will increase and it is a positive for everyone in the training sessions. It is another option and that is always good.
“I think the other players were trying some were doing well, and some were not doing so well, because as a team, we made mistakes, and not just the defenders.
“When you have players doing well and the comprehension and understanding between them is good, then maybe sometimes you miss them.
“But in this case (Clark’s absence), I would say I was quite pleased with the attitude of the other players.
“Sometimes, you have to give credit to the other team, and sometimes, you pay for the mistakes you make, that happened against Leeds. The other day (at Ipswich), we did not play at the level we used to play, especially away, where we have a very good record.
“It was a bad game (at Ipswich) but we weren’t suffering. They didn’t have any chances, and then we made a mistake, gave them a chance. When we scored our goal, we made another mistake, gave them another chance. This is something we have to analyse, work on, and we have done that this week.
“When you play games in a short time, you need to recover. You have players that are more tired than you were expecting and then if something is wrong, it is not easy for some of them to recover.
“If something is right – when you score a goal or play well – it is easier.
“When you make a mistake and concede a goal, in your head, it is always more difficult. For some players, these situations are difficult, and each one has a way to react.
“In this case, we didn’t react properly and we have to put things right now.”