The Swansea v Newcastle Press Conference has taken place on Friday lunchtime, with Francisco de Míguel Moreno (AKA Paco) standing in for Rafa Benitez.
Paco is Rafa’s assistant manager and has been part of his backroom team at a host of clubs, including Real Madrid and Liverpool.
With Rafa still recovering from surgery, Paco (pictured with Rafa above) has taken training this week as well.
Apart from the United boss not being able to make it, it was otherwise pretty much all good news.
It had been feared that Chancel Mbemba would be out for between one and three months after comments from the DR Congo doctor but Paco says whilst he will miss Sunday, Mbemba could be back for Stoke next Saturday.
The NUFC assistant manager also confirmed that Shelvey and Gayle would be available, the midfielder back from suspension and the number nine back in contention after ‘confidence’ issues saw him left out of the West Ham matchday 18.
Paco also stated that both Yedlin and Lejeunce could be selected against Swansea, as the pair have been back in full training this week.
First quotes from the Paco Swansea v Newcastle Press Conference:
“Rafa Benitez will try to be at Swansea, wants to be here and we know his commitment to his club and profession.
“Rafa is ok. He had a small operation on Monday and he is recovering. He will be fine in a few days.
“He has been on the phone as he normally does. We are in touch and we are preparing every single detail for the match together.
“We are still doing the same stuff we do when Rafa is here. It is different when he is here but it is all under control.
“Mikel (Merno) and Jonjo (Shelvey) have been training well. We have a training session tomorrow and after that, we will decide on the team.
“Dwight has been training well and will be part of the squad. DeAndre is working hard to be ready. He and Florian are training fully.
“Chancel is not too bad but will miss the game. Reading newspapers, it sounded a bad injury but we don’t think so, he’ll miss the game but be ready for the next one.
“Swansea are a good side with a good manager. It will be tough. We have to have the same commitment and passion as the last game.”