Joe Kinnear is not really expecting to have any of his injured players back for the Hull City game on Saturday, and only Sebastien Bassong will be back, after he has served his one match ban for being sent off last Friday.
Sebastien Bassong – during the game at Wigan on Friday
But of all the players missing yesterday Seba is probably the one player we’d like back most of all, because his absence was so obviously missed yesterday in our defense.
Remember at Stamford Bridge against the top Chelsea side, Bassong was little short of magnificent alongside Argentine Fabricio Coloccini, so he’s very quickly become a big player for the Magpies.
The question with Bassong is just how good can the lad become, because his displays for us this season have been little short of astonishing.
One way of getting some of our confidence and dignity back next Saturday at Hull, following yesterday’s defeat is to have a clean sheet.
It looks like young David Edgar could miss out since Joe will probably move Stephen Taylor to right back and play Charles N’Zogbia at left back.
But Joe also has the option of playing David at left back where he played in the match against Man United almost two years ago, and also scored a goal.
That would allow Joe to have Charles up front, where he is of much more danger to the opposition, and that may be the option that Kinnear will prefer, because there’s little doubt David had quite a solid game and deserves another chance to start a game.
Joe had hoped to have Oba Martins back in his squad but the striker’s groin problem will keep him out for another couple of weeks.
And Habib Beye’s knee injury will likely keep him out for another 3 weeks, although there may be a chance that the knee is just badly bruised, and we may have some better news on Habib once the swelling has come down a bit – hope so anyway.
Mark Viduka is also out – again – after he limped off at Wigan and is out for 3 weeks, and can probably kiss goodbye to any extension of his contract, because he’s just never fit, unfortunately.
Kinnear told the Shileds Gazette this morning:
“Beye’s on crutches at the moment. You’d think he’s going to be at least three weeks.”
“Viduka’s got a torn groin muscle, and I’d think at least three weeks as well.“
“Oba Martins will be at least two weeks minimum, but Bassong’s free from suspension. He’s the only one.”
Bassong can make all the difference on Saturday, in a game we must be in with a great chance of winning at the first attempt.
That would be good, very good.
Comments very welcome.