Rafa Benitez announces 5 Newcastle United players will be unavailable for Huddersfield match – Press Conference
Rafa Benitez has been speaking ahead of Saturday’s relegation six pointer at Huddersfield.
Newcastle could go six points clear of the relegation zone or alternatively, it is possible, if unlikely, that they could even end the weekend back in the relegation zone.
This is an opportunity though, as with Fulham to follow next Saturday at St James Park, Rafa’s team could do themselves a massive favour before Christmas.
David Wagner went first with his press conference and has numerous players unavailable, amongst them being three midfielders he has lost to injury in the past week, including talisman Aaron Mooy.
Jonjo Shelvey was missing when Newcastle lost against Wolves and Rafa has confirmed that the midfielder will miss these next two games as a minimum, stating he will be assessed once again in 10 days time.
Florian Lejeune played for the reserves earlier this week bit predictably is being given more time by the manager and won’t be selected tomorrow.
DeAndre Yedlin is suspended, whilst the manager also confirmed that two other players will be ruled out through injury.
Federico Fernandez will be a big miss due to a calf injury, whilst Freddie Woodman is set to continue on the bench with Karl Darlow still ruled out.
Rafa Benitez guaranteed to be missing at least five players against Huddersfield.
On the other hand, Rafa has Fabian Schar back from suspension, as well as confirming that Paul Dummett could now return to the starting eleven.
Rafa Benitez speaking at his pre-Huddersfield press conference:
“He (Florian Lejeune) is not available for this game but he is getting closer.
“For Florian, it is good news. Normally with a cruciate ligament injury, it is six or nine months (out). In four months, he is back playing and that is good news for us.
“Dummett – who was on the bench (v Wolves) – is available.
“Fernández has a knock in his calf – he is progressing and doing well, but he is not available.
“Darlow has a problem but hopefully next week he will be fully fit.
“We’ll assess how Shelvey is doing in ten days.”
Managing what he as available:
“We try to keep the team well organised.
“The difference when you play away is that the other team is more exposed and open, and if you are well organised you have more chances on the counter attack.
“For us, every game is like a final.
“We have to approach every game thinking that one point can make a massive difference at the end of the season – that’s why I was upset the other day (against Wolves).
“Obviously, I was not happy, VAR is something we need sooner rather than later.”
Manager of the Month award:
“Everybody here is working so hard.
“Sometimes you are lucky enough to win games in a row.
“A lot of hard work behind the scenes has been done.”
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