Rafa Benitez confirms 4 players ruled out for Bournemouth including Jamaal Lascelles
Rafa Benitez has been speaking ahead of Saturday’s game against Bournemouth.
The Newcastle boss meeting the media on Friday lunchtime.
With wins against Cardiff, Man City, Everton, Huddersfield and Burnley, Rafa’s players have picked up 16 points in their last eight Premier League games.
With a draw at Wolves giving them that 16th point, only two defeats to Spurs and West Ham in this run..
The Newcastle boss revealing a total of four players will be unavailable.
Jamaal Lascelles missing with a knee injury which will be assessed in next few days.
Fabian Schar is suspended, whilst Sean Longstaff and Rob Elliott are injured.
One bit of good news for the manager is that Ciaran Clark is now available again after injury.
Rafa Benitez pre-Bournemouth press conference:
“Lascelles is still feeling his knee and so we will not take the risk.
“Longstaff and Elliot are unavailable.
“We won’t take the risk with Lascelles – we’ll assess him in two or three days.
“But Clark is available – we have lost one, but we have another one available.
“He [Federico Fernandez] has more chances now [with Lascelles injured and Schar suspended].
“He was our best defender at the beginning of the season.
“After that he was injured and the team was doing well, so he had to wait, but he has been training well and hopefully he will be ready.
“We have to repeat the same message, go game by game, it is about staying calm.
“I have always said Fulham could be the most important game on the last day…
“Hopefully not but we have to think like that just in case.
“[on Salomon Rondon’s future] At the moment it is just to be sure he doesn’t lose his focus.
“He has continued playing well. He is someone who can make the difference in games.
‘It [players going out on loan but not getting games] is something we are trying to correct in the future.
“It makes no sense for them to be on loan and not have a chance, I was disappointed but not angry [that Sterry, Sorensen and Roberts all had to be recalled from loans where not getting first team football].
“[On Ayoze Perez]“No one can have any doubt about his quality.
“Sometimes when you are thinking about making a sub and who should come off, you know he’s someone who can do something different and score goals. But he knows he has to be more consistent.”
“[On comeback v Everton] The commitment was there and the belief was there.
“After making two mistakes in the first half, the reaction was very good. You can see that the confidence is high, but still the job is not done.”
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