The news from Rafa Benitez’ press conference this afternoon is that Coloccini has not trained this week so he’s still out with that calf problem he picked up in the warm-down after the Lillestrom game and Colo didn’t even play in the game.
Steven Taylor is also not training today – so he may have picked up some knock, but Rafa believes he will probably be OK for the Sunday derby game against Sunderland.
The good news is that Chancel Mbemba is fit and back to full training today and he may play on Sunday after being out over six weeks after being injured at Everton.
Rafa Benitez – Newcastle manager
Chancel Mbemba back in full training for NUFC today, but no Fabricio Coloccini. Steven Taylor also missing at training this morning.
— Keith Downie (@SkySports_Keith) March 18, 2016
Here are some of the initial comments from Rafa’s press conference, which took place at 1:00 pm today, one hour earlier than usual.”
“Hopefully the fans will help because normally Newcastle at home do well. If we have everything going well we can score goals.”
“We had a normal week with a day off, then organised a double session to prepare tactically for the Tyne-Wear derby.”
“Chancel Mbemba has trained, Fabricio Coloccini has not. Steven Taylor will be okay.”
“I am sure if we win this game, you will see a really positive reaction from the team and they will believe .”
“We know every game between now and the end of the season is important, but especially this one.”
“We know the Tyne-Wear derby is big for the city and the fans. We have to enjoy the derby and we have to give everything to win”
“I enjoy derbies a lot if we win. Mbemba was training, Colo we have to wait and see tomorrow. Taylor ‘may be alright’ too.”
“We can win and we can change the number of games lost in a row”
“It’s fine – Allardyce is a professional and I am a professional This game is about the players and the fans’.”
So those are some of the initial comments coming out of today’s press conference – and Rafa’s so right – once our lads can get a win their confidence will simply soar.
It’s very important we win this game on Sunday – and yes – that’s a huge understatement.