It was really good to see Sadio Haidara make his first appearance for a Newcastle side in almost 10 months yesterday as he played for the U-23 side in their 1-1 draw against Stoke City at Whitley Park.
The 23 year-old Frenchman hadn’t played since the 6-2 win over Norwich City at St. James’ Park back on Sunday, 18th October 2015, after suffering meniscus injuries in his knee.
He tried to make a come back in March/April but he broke down and has only now returned to fitness.
Massadio Haidara in action yesterday
After the game Sadio has this to say on the Newcastle web-site:
“It wasn’t easy. It was a tough game. The duel was good, and I think it’s what I needed to test myself.”
“It was all right, and I think the team played well. I think we deserved more, but one point is better than nothing.”
“I wanted to say thank you to the lads for letting me play and for helping me with my fitness too.” This has been very good for me.”
“It’s been a long, long time. My last game was in October last year, so I’m really happy.” “I just played 45 minutes and I felt good.” “We got a point too, so I was very happy.”
“It’s been a lot of hard work for eight months. I worked hard, and now I’m just enjoying playing.” “I’ll take it step by step until I’m fit for the first team.”
“I felt all right. I could have done more, but with the staff we decided I would only play 45 minutes.”
“This was good, and I hope next time I will play more. It’s just about building it up – I don’t want to go too quick, so I just played 45 minutes and next time I will play more.”
“You don’t feel strange, but you have to do everything like before. It was OK – I wasn’t too lost, just maybe in the first ten minutes I was a little bit tired but after that, I was fine.”
Since Sadio was injured last year new manager Rafa Benitez has strengthened the squad significantly and now we have Paul Dummett, Achraf Lazaar, Ciaran Clark and Jesus Gamez who can all play at left back, so that’s a lot of competition for Sadio.
But Rafa can also make the Frenchman into a better player, but the main thing with Sadio is to keep him fit.
Since signing on from Nancy in January 2013 for £2M he has only played 48 times for the first team, mainly because he’s picked up so many injuries.
Sadio signed a five and a half year deal at Newcastle, so he still has this season and next to impress and get his career back on track.
We hope he can do that.