Hamstring injuries have been the bane of Newcastle United for a long time going back even before Graeme Souness was the manager.
When Graeme was Newcastle manager from September 2004 through February of 2006 he thought it was the training pitches at Benton that were the reason for the players picking up so many hamstring injuries.
Well – it still is with eight players not available for tomorrow’s game and four of them have hamstring injuries.
Tim Krul has his ACL knee injury and is out for the season, Curtis Good is still out with that hip problem he’s had since making his debut for Australia in March of last year.
Steve McClaren – gave his press conference today
Rolando Aarons is still not ready with his ankle injury unfortunately and Massadio Haidara will be out about four months with his knee injury.
Steven Taylor, Gabriel Obertan, Mike Williamson and Jamaal Lascelles are all out with hamstring strains and it looks like all of those were picked up during training.
Maybe Graeme was onto something when he said it was the pitches?
Manu Riviere has apparently been fit for about six weeks but cannot make the squad, so he will very likely be sold in January.
Cheick Tiote – fit again
Along with Remy Cabella – Riviere has been another poor signing Newcastle (Graham Carr) made 18 months ago.
The good news today is that Cheick Tiote is fit again and recovered from his groin strain.
Steve McClaren in his press conference today has talked about Cheick being fit and that Villa are no pushover:
“Cheick Tiote has trained all week so will come into the squad but, that aside, it’s the same squad.“
“We’re sixth in the form guide over the last eight games. Consistency is key and getting consistent performance is a platform.“
“Villa is a totally different game. I’ve watched them three or four times and they have very good players.” “How Villa are only on six points, I don’t know because they have very good players.“
“Let’s not get expectations high. We have to do exactly what we have been doing to get results.” “The key is us and the crowd. The key word tomorrow for everybody is patience.“
“Aston Villa is an opportunity and a challenge to kick on and go on. Can we take it? Are we ready to do it?“
Aston Villa lost their last game against Arsenal at home in the first half but looked much better in the final 45 minutes and we think they will give us a tough game.
Things are set for Newcastle to have a massive let-down by losing this game when everything looks so upbeat after two great wins.
We really hope that doesn’t happen.