Newcastle will take on Birmingham at St. Andrew’s on Saturday afternoon following Monday’s shock 1-0 defeat at Blackburn Rovers, which saw us lose 3 points to Brighton, Huddersfield and Reading.
We also lost the top spot with Brighton now 2 points ahead of us with a game in hand and Reading in 3rd place 6 points behind us, but also with a game in hand.
But Rafa Benitez knows exactly which areas of the team he wants to strengthen this month – but it’s not a given that we can get the players in that he wants with January always being a tough market.
This is what Benitez has told BBC Radio Newcastle.
“We knew the areas we wanted to improve.” “We will try to find something if possible. January’s not an easy market.”
“We have some time now to prepare for the cup game,” “Afterwards, we will consider everything in the league.”
“We have to carry on doing the same things.”
The general view is that Rafa wants to bring in a playmaker, striker and a winger in the January transfer market.
There was news last night that Brighton and Chris Hughton seem poised to win the race to sign Chelsea’s midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek and that would be a surprise if that happens with Newcastle thought to be in the lead for the 20 year-old.
It seems that Bournemouth’s impressive striker Callum Wilson is also a top target along with Everton’s Tom Cleverley.
Newcastle have stuttered since Blackburn ended our nine game winning streak in November and in the last nine games we have lost five of them including the quarter-final tie at Hull City.
So it would be good to start winning games again and putting together another win streak – starting at Birmingham City on Saturday afternoon.
It will be interesting to see if Rafa brings back Rob Elliot for that game with Rob playing yesterday in Newcastle U23’s 6-0 win at Bradford City in a Central League Cup tie, with Tom Heardman hitting another hat-trick.