Steve McClaren has given his press conference today and there’s news that Gabby Obertan is out for at least four months with a recurrence of the hamstring injury he picked up in training at the end of September and he has had surgery in France for it earlier this week.
Steve also talked about Rob Elliot and was relieved Rob didn’t have to play for Ireland during the International break – but they did great in beating Bosnia and Herzegovina 3-1 on aggregate in their play-off game and qualified for the Euro 2016 Championships in France next summer.
Steve McClaren – gave his press conference today
It seems that Steve had a number of conversations with Ireland manager Martin O’Neill who seemed to appreciate Newcastle’s dodgy predicament with goalkeepers.
Steve presumably offered Rob if there was an emergency over the two game play-off with the goalkeepers they had in the squad.
But as it turned out Darren Randoph of West Ham played in the games and Ireland did very well indeed to qualify.
This is what Steve said about Rob Elliot during his press conference:
“He’s fine and he’s fit for the game. We said that to Martin O’Neil a couple of weeks ago. We were up front, we told them he would be fit and we wanted him to play against Leicester so we were open about it.”
“After discussions with Rob he stayed here. We thank Ireland for that and also congratulate them.”
“It’s a fantastic achievement for the Republic to qualify.” “The door was always open for Rob if anything had happened during the two games.”
And Steve talked about the new Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri and how well he’s done at the King Power Stadium so far this season.
It’s interesting that Leicester are 3rd top of the Premier League and last year at this time they had an identical record to Newcastle with 10 points from 12 games and 4th bottom of the league.
This is what Steve said about the 64 year-old Italian manager:
“Ranieri has come into Leicester and done a fantastic job. He hasn’t tinkered too much and has adapted very well to the Premier League.”
“They have very good players, like Vardy, Mahrez and Drinkwater. That is why they are one point off the top.”
“We are trying to turn the corner. We are doing that slowly and have to keep grinding away.”
“It’s about showing fight, great attitude on the field and ultimately winning games. If we do that, that crowds will come back.”
Claudio managed Chelsea for four years from 2000 before being replaced by Jose Mourinho in the summer of 2004.
That was even after Chelsea finished second top of the Premier League in 2004 with 79 points – but 11 points behind Champions Manchester United – so Claudio does have ample experience in England’s top league.
We really need a win tomorrow at St. James’ Park but Leicester – who are 3rd top of the Premier League just one point behind the leaders – will be a huge challenge for us.