Rafa Benitez has given an update today on the goalkeeper situation at Newcastle, with Karl Darlow having played in the last nine league games and suffering the first non-win in that streak, when we lost to Blackburn at home on Saturday.
In our team for tonight’s game we had Karl Darlow in goal, but Rafa can play Matz Sels – as he did in the last round of the League Cup, when we hammered Preston 6-0 at St. James Park on October 25th, the last time the Belgium played for Newcastle and kept a clean sheet.
Matz Sels in action for Newcastle
Rob Elliot has been in full training for several weeks now, but it yet to play his first game since rupturing his ACL while playing For Ireland in late March.
This is what Rafa has said in the Chronicle about the goalkeepers:
“I will say Sels is training well.” “The national team has been positive for him, because he has gone there when he has not been playing. He was training and motivated.”
“We’re working really hard with the keepers.”
“Sels could get an opportunity tonight.” “I want to keep the majority of the players ready.” “So if I have to change one player, or another one, we have to be sure they are playing.”
“Sels is another one.” “I can play other players to be sure they are there, just in case.” “If you don’t play players, normally you will lose the players.”
“Elliot is nearly there, but not yet. We don’t have to take any risks.”
There’s a hint that Matz Sels will play tonight, but it’s also interesting Rafa has said if you don’t play players – you will lose players.
Rafa is finding it difficult with a big first team squad of 27 players and very few injuries to give all his players a game – and some of them have to be unhappy – although they are being mute about that – hopefully for the sake of the team.
That’s in what we are hoping will become a promotion season for us this term – but hey – nothing is ever certain as we were all reminded last Saturday.