Newcastle will have Fabricio Coloccini available for the game today at home to Stoke City after his red card against Sunderland was rescinded by the FA, but we will be without Jack Colback for up to six weeks with the knee injury he picked up after a tackle from Lee Cattermole.
Jack Colback out for up to six weeks
Steve McClaren is thinking long and hard on how to utilise the players he has available in the absence of Colback and he may alter the formation today against Stoke City.
McClaren has said he has only two (central) midfield players available in Cheick Tiote and Vurnon Anita – so let´s hope neither of them gets injured.
This is what Steve McClaren said yesterday:
“We have to either reshape or play Vurnon to deal with the absence of Colback and that is a decision for Stoke.” “We do not have that many alternatives.”
“But we certainly adapted last week against Sunderland with Anita at left-back, Florian on and Wijnaldum and Sissoko in the middle with 10 men and we still got in the game.”
“In the end we got punished but I think our positive attitude in terms of during the game, hopefully will bear fruit.”
“We’ve got two midfield players now, so there’s a big responsibility on their shoulders.”
“Jack is one of our leaders and a very good midfield player, but this gives other people an opportunity to come in and establish themselves.
We hope that Cheick will step up to the plate today and in the five or six games we could see Jack miss with his knee injury.
Certainly he´s experienced enough and this is a big chance for the 29 year-old to get back into the side on a regular basis and make a big contribution to the side.
We could simply see Vurnon Anita come in and play the role of Colback, but it appears that McClaren has been thinking of a few alternatives in training this week – so he may surprise us today.