Chris Hughton is still not sure whether our first choice center-back pairing of Coloccini and Taylor will be able to make it tomorrow, and he is hoping both will train today.
Coloccini - still doubtful for tomorrow
Chris has to balance the demands of tomorrow’s game with the fact that we also have a game on Tuesday night, and the last thing he will want to do is endanger the longer term fitness of either player.
We just don’t have enough back good up players in the squad.
“I wouldn’t say for the first time that this has exposed the size of the squad, but of course it does make us stretched in that area,”
“We’ll look at the alternatives and we’re still hopeful that Coloccini and Taylor will be fit to play, we’ve not given up on either of them. We hope they’ll get out on to the training pitch in the morning.”
“Whatever selection decision we make, it will be in the best interests of the team in the long term, it’s very much about that and it has to be the right decision. There are always going to be situations where the risk element is higher or a little bit less.”
“That’s always going to be a judgement call and we’d look to get more of those right than we do wrong. What we certainly won’t do is to take a needless risk where we don’t have to. This is the tough side of management, very much so.”
We’d like to see Tamas Kadar given a chance to play alongside Khizanishvili if the two first choice center-backs cannot play tomorrow.
However, Chris may move Danny Simpson across from right-back with Ryan Taylor slotting into the right full-back position – but when we’ve played that formation before we’ve looked woefully weak in the air.
Hughton talked about the options available to him and about 19 year-old Hungarian Tamas Kadar – who is good in the air, by the way.
“The options we have are Danny Simpson coming into that position and he’s done that a couple of times this season and done well.”
“We’ve also got Tamas Kadar who is a young lad who has been involved in the majority of squads this season, almost every one in fact and we think highly of him.”
“It’s also about having a belief in the squad we’ve got. We know that in some areas we’re going to be light.” “If you look at this particular moment with Khizanishvili coming in that leaves us with him, Taylor, Coloccini.”
“There would be other clubs who’d survive on that three as their main central defensive players, with a couple of players who can manoeuvre in and around from full-back, or a young one who can come in and play so we’ve been okay.”
The squad is still too small and it’s an open question as to what happens when we get the injuries that are bound to come.
They’ve come every other season after all, and usually Newcastle get more injuries than other sides, and we were always top of the Premier League injury table, after all.
But Hughton seems fairly relaxed as he denied he had made any new plans in the transfer market:
“What I’ve always said is that there are going to be judgement calls.”
“We’ve had times where we’ve felt we’ve needed to bring in players in a certain position and we’ve done so.”
“At the moment we’re coping well with the squad we’ve got, you have to use that squad, we’ve got three or four young players who are very much part of that squad and they’ll benefit from getting playing time this season.”
“Of course, when you do get a few injuries, then it’s always going to be a judgement call as to whether you need to make any loan signings.”
“At this moment I feel the squad is okay.”
Chris is forever the diplomat, but we have to believe he’s got some players already identified that he can bring in on loan – if the squad becomes decimated by injury.
We hope so anyway.
It would be tragic if we move off the pace in the Championship because we don’t have enough players.