Some of the Newcastle injuries seem to be clearing up at last, and there will now be some competition for places on Saturday, which has to be good news for manager Joe Kinnear.
Jonas Gutierrez – flying in training right now
But Kinnear will likely keep confidence with the players that performed so well on Monday night, in a game we did everything but win, and that was with 10 men.
Both Barton and Gutierrez are seemingly available and very keen to play in the tough game at Sunderland, but it’s not at all clear that either will make the starting eleven.
Kinnear said today:
“I’m delighted with the players in the side already, so it’s not going to be easy for Joey to march back in, but he’ll be involved one way or another, as will Spider-man (Gutierrez).”
“He’s flying at the moment. He’s trained very well with us, and he wants to be involved.” “There’s every chance that he could play a part in the match at some stage.”
“I’ve got him and Joey to consider, so the bench is looking very good. We’ve got a lot of confidence going into the derby.”
“I’ve been involved in London derbies on numerous occasions, but they tell me they’re nothing like this one.”
It’s good news that Joey and Jonas are doing well in training and raring to go, which means we will at least have a strong bench at Sunderland, and Joe will have some choices if he needs to change things on Saturday.
But we must go all out for 3 points on Saturday, which promises to be a full house at The Stadium of Light, where Sunderland probably fancy winning this game.