Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez has just announced the team for the vital home game against Swansea City this afternoon and Rafa has Anita, Lascelles, Dummett, Tiote, Colback and Cisse all starting this game.
Jonjo Shelvey has been dropped and is on the bench – so the manager has made five changes to the team after a performance last week that was completely unacceptable.
So at least Rafa holds people accountable at Newcastle.
Newcastle: Darlow, Anita, Lascelles, Mbemba, Dummett, Sissoko (c), Tiote, Colback, Townsend, Wijnaldum, Cisse.
Subs: Woodman, Shelvey, Obertan, Aarons, De Jong, Perez, Mitrovic
Moussa Sissoko is captain today so perhaps that will encourage him to turn up for the game.
Rafa has relied on experience and local lads with Dummett and Colback both starting – they will not give up – and Tiote and Cisse again get a chance to show their massive experience in the Premier League.
With Sunderland currently 2-0 up at Carrow Road after 70 minutes, if that score remains a win could see Newcastle draw within 3 points of Norwich and stay 2 points behind Sunderland and we would even have a slim chance of survival.
But we MUST win this game today.
It will be very tough today, especially since we yet again have a patched up defense and too many players out injured.
This is what Rafa said about the game:
“They have some confidence – they have won seven points in the last three games, so they have confidence,” he said. “They are well organized, Guidolin is their manager and he knows his job, so I don’t think that they now risk relegation.”
“I think that they will try to play football, but it will be tough because they have confidence now.” “We have to change the stats, so hopefully we can change the stats right now.”
“Dummett is coming back, Taylor is not available, Janmaat is not available,” “Some players, like Coloccini, had a reaction the other day, and he’s still struggling with it.”
“The good news is Dummett coming back, but we have lost Janmaat, so what we will have to do now is just manage with the players that we have at the moment, and if they know they will play maybe they will be better, with more confidence.”
“We have to have confidence. It’s massive for us, it’s crucial for us, and we know that we have to start winning games,” said the Spaniard.
“The positive thing is that our fans behind us can make a big difference, so if they stay with us I think that the players will do what we are expecting. They will give everything, they have to fight, and hopefully we can get this three points.”
Slightly more fans think we will win this game than lose it.
Howay The Lads!!
We put out an article on 17 month-old Poppy-Mai on Friday and she has recently been diagnosed with a progressive malignant rhabdoid tumour, a rare and aggressive form of paediatric cancer.
To show their support two of our readers in New Zealand Sean Gordon and his sister Hayley have cut off their hair which will be donated to the Little Princess Trust in the UK.
They will then transform the hair into beautiful wigs for children who have lost their own hair to cancer and all funds raised will go to Poppy-Mai’s family to create Poppy’s Field.