Rafa Gives Injury Update – How Many Players Needed In January

Rafa Benitez gave his press conference at 1:00 pm this afternoon for the game at Leeds United on Sunday and he said he expects it will be a tough game and it’s now available on nufcTV.

It was a fairly wide-ranging set of questions he fielded from the local press today.

Rafa addressed the distressing injury Rolando Aarons picked up on Wednesday  in training and Rafa said he was disappointed for the 21 year-old, because it was his first full training session back from his broken foot and he had been working very hard.

rafa benitez press conference

Rafa Benitez – very disappointed for Rolando Aarons

But it turns out that of the 27 players Rafa has in the first team squad, Ronaldo is the only one not fit and not available for the Leeds game.

So it really is amazing the way Rafa and his staff have significantly cut down on the number of injuries we have picked up this season.

Unfortunately for Ronaldo he will not play again this season and there’s some question as to when he will be back.

Maybe he could be out around 12 months like Tim Krul – but we hope he comes back sooner than that for his sake.

Rafa also talked about the transfer window in January as well as about Aarons bad luck.

This is some of what he said:

“I was really disappointed because of the injury to Rolando.” “It was the first full training session with the group, he was doing well, and it was a kick to his knee. It is really bad luck.”

“In the transfer window it always generates difficulties.”

“But we are doing our job trying to find the right players.” “We have a good squad of 26 players available now, so the reality is we don’t need too many.”

“What we have to do is to be sure we sign the players in the  positions that we need and use the players that we have, because they are quite good.”

It’s anybody’s guess what team Rafa will choose for Elland Road, especially when we don’t see the training sessions and how the players are performing.

But we’ll come out with our best guess of the starting line-up  tomorrow – once we’ve thought about it a little bit – we have guessed the team correctly only once this season so far.


We need a win and the fans seem quite confident of that outcome with 60% thinking we can win this game.

That would be fantastic.

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Comments very welcome.

32 comments so far

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Nov 18, 2016 at 7:38 PM

    Comment #1

    Howay the back room staff.

  • Ron Knee

    Nov 18, 2016 at 7:40 PM

    Comment #2

    “We have a good squad of 26 players available now, so the reality is we don’t need too many.”

    So we can expect some signings?


    Nov 18, 2016 at 7:43 PM

    Comment #3

    I really don’t see why Leeds is such a test we’ve battered all we have faced so far (including better teams than Leeds) they are on a decent run of form but their results don’t worry me

    Leeds are a decent championship side but we are better than the championship

  • sing in the corner

    Nov 18, 2016 at 7:45 PM

    Comment #4


    alreet then.

    Take more water with it!

  • Jib

    Nov 18, 2016 at 7:47 PM

    Comment #5


  • Jib

    Nov 18, 2016 at 7:50 PM

    Comment #6

    Agent Bruce has a hell of a lot of snow on the roof !
    He’s only 55 ffs !

  • Ron Knee

    Nov 18, 2016 at 7:53 PM

    Comment #7

    Amavi = I have loved

  • sing in the corner

    Nov 18, 2016 at 7:59 PM

    Comment #8

    Tough place to go though,especially when they’re in a bit of form!

  • reilly

    Nov 18, 2016 at 8:07 PM

    Comment #9

    villa 1 up


    Nov 18, 2016 at 8:08 PM

    Comment #10

    Maybe so mate but we are on a bit of form ourselves

  • Mag52

    Nov 18, 2016 at 8:11 PM

    Comment #11

    For me this looks like being one of the pivotal games of the season.
    Monk is a good young manager, and he has got the Tykes believing in themselves.
    I’ve put us down for a draw, and my team is:
    Yedlin Lascelles Clarke Dummett,
    Shelvey Colback,
    Ritchie, Perez, Gouffran,

  • Ron Knee

    Nov 18, 2016 at 8:16 PM

    Comment #12


    That’s the team I’d pick so you’re obviously wrong!

  • Jib

    Nov 18, 2016 at 8:18 PM

    Comment #13

    Agbonlahor is a spent force

  • sing in the corner

    Nov 18, 2016 at 8:20 PM

    Comment #14

    Yeah of course. We have Ritchie to come back in too. I’m starting to lean towards Mitro playing up front again. On balance I think he deserves to start given his recent efforts. Gayle got a knock, and Mitro took his chance pretty well.

  • sing in the corner

    Nov 18, 2016 at 8:30 PM

    Comment #15

    No need for you to take the huff as well.
    It’s just a place to have a bit craic.

    By the way, I’m genuinely excited for Christmas this year. It’ll be lovely to watch the bairn open up his gift wrapped half season ticket. Suppose I’ll have to go along with him each game too!
    Cheers in advance Santa!

  • sing in the corner

    Nov 18, 2016 at 8:32 PM

    Comment #16

    Good strike! But I have to say watching these two we have little to worry about in terms of rivals if these are meant to be up there!

  • Jib

    Nov 18, 2016 at 8:34 PM

    Comment #17

    The next international break is the last 2 weeks of March 2017 – hopefully NUFC’s position will be resolved by then.
    A draw in this game (Brighton v Villa )would be fine.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Nov 18, 2016 at 8:38 PM

    Comment #18


    Aah life can be tough at times, I expect you’ll grin and bare it. 🙂

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Nov 18, 2016 at 8:40 PM

    Comment #19

    Good end to end game so far.

    I like the look of Bruno although we don’t really need a RB.

    Kodija is making it hard work for Amavi though.

  • Hail Wor Ashley

    Nov 18, 2016 at 8:42 PM

    Comment #20

    Me thinks the weather may see our match called off.

    Rain from Saturday night all the way through ’til kick-off and beyond in Leeds.

    Even if it does go ahead, it won’t be pretty with swirling winds, rain and a slow pitch.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Nov 18, 2016 at 8:42 PM

    Comment #21


    I already said I’d like a draw and it’s working out ok so far although I can see a lot more goals in this game.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Nov 18, 2016 at 8:44 PM

    Comment #22


    Aye I was thinking that the weather could be a leveler although it may have passed over by the time the game kicks off.

  • lukes26

    Nov 18, 2016 at 8:48 PM

    Comment #23

    brighton seem the more tactically and technically skilled, but villa seem the far more athletic side

    when newcastle played them, villa were by far the better team in the second half ..they seem like a team that just outrun their opponents, like bournemouth

  • welshgeordie9

    Nov 18, 2016 at 9:22 PM

    Comment #24

    52Jail for Ashley // Nov 18, 2016 at 7:40 PM

    Really, well if only a certain few posters had stopped posting, it has half had a knock on effect, because we are starting to look like .co.uk. Maybe the silent majority would like me to stop posting so the blog can flourish again.

    I can only dream, can you take WWSBRD with you as well.

    Ha ha ha

  • welshgeordie9

    Nov 18, 2016 at 9:23 PM

    Comment #25

    Only joking.

  • lukes26

    Nov 18, 2016 at 9:33 PM

    Comment #26

    i think you might need a red bus to drive around to explain to people how to ‘make nufcblog great again’

  • Jib

    Nov 18, 2016 at 9:37 PM

    Comment #27


    Brighton 1 Villa 1


  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Nov 18, 2016 at 9:40 PM

    Comment #28

    Great result for us, we can open a 6 point gap on them now.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Nov 18, 2016 at 9:42 PM

    Comment #29

    And there is the reason I wanted a draw, Villa under Bruce could really start to challenge for a top spot.

    Brighton dropping points at home is another plus.

  • welshgeordie9

    Nov 18, 2016 at 9:43 PM

    Comment #30


    There’s nothing wrong with the blog now, we are like one big happy family on here.

  • Novocastrian66

    Nov 18, 2016 at 9:47 PM

    Comment #31

    I thought Brighton were poor tonight. Villa were much the better side and if McCormack can find his shooting boots they could climb the league quickly. I cannot see them catching us though.

  • Jimmy……Jimmy……Jimmy Smith

    Nov 18, 2016 at 10:24 PM

    Comment #32

    Gayle got the shirt because of Mitro’s suspension, and now Mitro has it because of Gayle’s injury. Rafa has tended to stick with the incumbent, if he’s doing the job. Gayle will be fresher, and we could use his mobility in what will be a tough game, but it would be one in the eye for the big Serb if he weren’t picked given his recent great form, and a tough sell for Rafa to keep him happy and firing were he to return him to the bench. I hope he plays. I think we are at our best when he and Perez start.


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