In order to try to get Newcastle out of the bottom three of the league table, which we have been in and around all season, manager Steve McClaren may have to start relying one some of our more experienced players.
One of those who is coming back from injury is 30 year-old Senegal striker Papiss Cisse, who stayed behind last week when a 26 man Newcastle squad went off for warm weather training in La Manga and beat Lillestrom 2-1 in a friendly game last Saturday.
Papiss Cisse – fit again
Papiss is one of a number of players coming back from injury and they include the likes of Vurnon Anita, Jack Colback and Siem de Jong – all experienced players.
Aleksandar Mitrovic and Fabricio Coloccini are two of the latest Newcastle players to pick up injuries and it seems Fabricio has a better chance of making the game at Stoke than Mitro does.
We have strikers Ayoze Perez, Emmanuel Riviere, Seydou Doumbia and Papiss all fit for the Stoke game – so one of those will probably start up front.
Papiss has been out since he injured himself in the game at home to Aston Villa on December 19th, and he had this to say about his fitness today:
“The past two months have been frustrating. Now I’m back to Newcastle to resume training. I’m looking forward to the rest of the season.”
“I feel fit, sharp and very focused. I can’t wait to get back playing again as quickly as possible. I’m in good shape.”
Newcastle have had a full 18 days to prepare for the game at Stoke City next Wednesday night and we cannot have a repeat of the recent disasters at Everton and Chelsea.
If we do then Steve McClaren should be in big trouble.