Rafa Benitez confirms Newcastle star set to miss the start of the season
Four days after a poor display and defeat against Mainz, Rafa Benitez returned to Germany and saw a far better display against Wolfsburg.
Goals from Mitrovic and Ritchie put United two up at the break, then Atsu gave NUFC their two goal margin once again after the Bundesliga team equalised, the game finishing 3-1 to the visitors.
Lejeune looked good alongside Ciaran Clark, with Jamaal Lascelles getting only 20 minutes after missing the last three games through injury. The Clark/Lejeune combination looking a knocking bet to start the season.
Somebody though who looks certain to miss the game against Tottenham in 11 days time is DeAndre Yedlin, with Rafa Benitez revealing after the game that the hamstring problem picked up against Mainz, will see the right-back set to miss at least the next two or three weeks.
Rafa Benitez talking to NUFC TV:
“A lot of positives but we are still a little bit far away.
“At least we had chances and we scored three goals, I think that was a decent game.
“In terms of the game plan we were more disciplined (than against Mainz) and you could see they didn’t create too many chances.
“I think Mainz were a little faster, especially in the wide areas, so more easier to control.
“Today though, in terms of the understanding between players, the position, the movement, it was much better.”
‘Javier Manquillo played most of the game, he looked good today?’
“It was fine, they need to improve, they need match fitness, play matches, and we have also the (Hellas Verona) game before we start.
“Hopefully everybody well be at their best level.”
‘Good to see Jamaal Lascelles back?’
“I think we have to have competition, so during the season we can do what we want to do.
“We need a couple of players in every position and competing.
“He wasn’t training two or three days last week – but now he is back with the group.”
‘How is DeAndre Yedlin?’
“We have to wait.
“We think two or three weeks he will be out, that is the feeling.”
‘A reunion with Fabio Pecchia on Sunday?’
“Yes, an emotional game.
“They (Hellas Verona) were promoted as were us and we were thinking it would be good to have a Serie A team with a manager we know.
“A game against a team who will be tactically good because Fabio is quite clever.
“If somebody knows our team really well, it is Fabio.”
Wolfsburg 1 Newcastle 3
Newcastle: Mitrovic 38, Ritchie 43, Atsu 68
Wolfsburg: Malli 52
Elliot (Darlow 70), Manquillo (Mbemba 70), Lejeune (Lascelles 70), Clark, Dummett (Gamez 70), Ritchie (Aarons 70), Shelvey (c), Hayden (Merino 70), Atsu (Murphy 70), Pérez (De Jong 70), Mitrović (Diame 46)
Crowd: 3,011 (Approx 300 Newcastle)
To read the match ratings of all Newcastle players from win over Wolfsburg go HERE
To watch all the goals an extended highlights of Wolfsburg 1 Newcastle 3 go HERE.
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