Small Squad Starting To Impact Newcastle

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.

fabricio coloccini

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.

Chris said:

“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.

Chris continued:

“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.

5 comments so far

  • Kevin Nichol

    Oct 16, 2009 at 10:25 AM

    Comment #2

    Good morning Ed….

    I’d been thinking about this before you posted this article this morning and here are my thoughts;

    I actually believe we have one of the biggest; if not the biggest squad in the championship in terms of first team numbers.

    Look at our goalkeeping situation; Harper, Krul & forster out on loan.

    Our Defenders; Jose, Colo, S.Taylor, R.Taylor, Simpson, Zurab, Kadar , Geremi who can play at full back+ several youngsters in the reserves. How many other championship temas can boast 8 first team defenders before calling on their reserve/ youth team players? Yes a couple of those are loan players but almost every team in the championship have players in on loan.

    Our midfield; Barton, Smith, Nolan, Guthrie, butt, Jonas, R.Taylor & Geremi (both of whom were also in my defenders category), Lovenkrands who can play on the wing, Lua lua (who looks a good prospect, then we have the young boys Vuckic /Donaldson / Inmann etc.

    Our Strikers;

    Shola (currently injured), Harewood (loan), Carrol, Ranger, Lovenkrands….Again currently four fit first team strikers before turning to our back ups/reserves…..

    I really don’t buy this small squad fixation which alot of people are talking about. It terms of the champioship we have a great squad with great numbers to compete in this division.

    Yes we could do with another left back; but how many other teams in this division would say they are short in one position or another!

    Let me know your thoughts because in my opinion; looking at it; we have more than enought right now. Everybody might talk about the loan players; but these deals can be extended in january and we can bring in others on loan deals through to the end of the season

  • lesh

    Oct 16, 2009 at 10:36 AM

    Comment #3

    Yup Kevin, to a degree and you hit the nail on the head with the need for a left back. Wasn’t that a need that KK flagged up before Gonzales was foisted on him?

    The squad does have its weak spots and whislt numbers there may be, do we have the right players to do the job?

    Of course it’s Ashley’s prerogative whether he sells or not but even he must see the need to speculate to reap the benefits of promotion.

    Unless he sanctions some sensible transfer activity, I honestly think that the promising start to the season will fizzle out and where does that leave the club!

  • Johno Toon

    Oct 16, 2009 at 10:43 AM

    Comment #4

    Kevin great post

    I do think we have a squad to compete this season and what I think is its a great chance for young players like kadar ranger lualua etc to grab first a place in the squad and second a chance in the 1st team due to injuries suspentions etc , So if these players take their chance when they come and IF we get promoted we might have a decent squad base back in the top flight

  • premier

    Oct 16, 2009 at 10:45 AM

    Comment #5

    Ashley more likely to sell than buy in Jan window!!


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