Alan Shearer is hoping to have Jose Enrique back for Monday’s night’s big do-or-die game with Portsmouth at St. James’ Park.
Jose Enrique – in training yesterday
The Spanish Under-21 International twisted his knee in training two weeks ago, and has missed the last two games at Stoke City and Spurs. But Enrique is expected to make a return to full training by the end of the week, and will liekly take his place at left back, as the only specialist left-back we have in the squad.
Shearer has even played a back three for those last two games, but hopefully will revert to a back four for the vital Portsmouth game – we’ve never liked a back three formation.
Alan talked to Newcastle United TV on Jose Enrique this morning:
“We’re hopeful on Jose,” “He’s should be back in full training by the end of the week and that will give him a chance for Monday.”
But there was some bad news yesterday as a scan revealed that Steven Taylor has indeed injured his ankle again, and it looks like the local youngster will be out at least another two weeks, which is another blow to the side, as Steven was playing his best football of the season before he got injured against Arsenal.
Taylor limped out of Sunday’s defeat at Spurs at half-time.
Joey Barton is now back in light training but has not played since January, after suffering another broken metatarsal, and it was hoped he would be back in full training this week.
However, it looks like that has been delayed a little as Alan said this morning:
“Joey Barton has not returned to full training yet but should do over the weekend.” “He is doubtful for the game and as is Steven Taylor.
“But we’re not giving up hope on anyone.”
It’s very unlikely that Alan will risk either of these players on Monday night, and with Shearer probably reverting to a 4-3-3 formation, it will be interesting to see what the back will look like.
We have a feeling that Alan will again turn to 21 year-old David Edgar and may play the Canadian either as a right- back, or even in the center with Sebastien Bassong. He could also use Beye in the center of defense, and he could also recall the more experienced Argentine, Fabricio Coloccini to the side.
But that defense looks quite strong, whoever Alan selects, and should be able to get the job done, which on Monday night has to be a clean sheet.
The team have had two clean sheets this year, one away in the FA Cup to Hull City in early January (0-0), and the other one in late February, at home to Everton (0-0).
We need another one on Monday night, and we need the strikers to get some goals – we think that will add up to a win – but it’s been so long ……. 😀