It was all about the three points for Rafa Benitez at the London Stadium.
A win against the odds, as even though they were up against a very poor West Ham side missing a couple of key men in Noble and Lanzini, Newcastle couldn’t have had worse preparation for the relegation clash.
One point from nine games and knowing Manchester City were to follow, the last thing Rafa Benitez needed was further injuries.
Jonjo Shelvey was already suspended for the West Ham match and Gamez & Mitrovic out injured, so when Hayden, Lejeune and Merino were also ruled out, Rafa was forced into emergency action.
The United boss forced to bring in Henri Saivet who had been playing and training with the reserves, as well as a recall for Mohamed Diame who had been sarcastically cheered when subbed on his last previous start, against Everton.
Rafa Benitez welcomes Jonjo Shelvey back amongst his available players for Manchester City on Wednesday night and has revealed that two others could join him.
The Newcastle Manager says it was ‘little problems’ that kept Hayden and Merino out of the West Ham match and they ‘will have a chance for Manchester City’.
However, Mitrovic and Gamez are still definitely out, whilst Benitez also indicates that Florian Lejeune won’t be involved either, his unspecified injury putting him behind Merino and Hayden in his recovery.
“I think that Merino and Hayden will have a chance for Manchester City because it was little problems (that kept them out on Saturday), they were not fully fit for West Ham.
“Florian Lejeune it will be more difficult and the others – Mitrovic no and Gamez no.
“With Merino and Hayden we will see – maybe.”
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