The really good news yesterday is that the knee injury Aleksandar Mitrovic picked up on Saturday at Birmingham City after only five minutes is not as serious as first thought.
Mitro has two bad gashes on and just below his knee, but it will not keep him out of the side for long and he is expected back by the end of the month.
That’s good news for Newcastle and for the 22 year-old and Rafa has said he will not do anything special in the transfer market to cover for Mitrovic’ injury.
Aleksandar Mitrovic in distress on Saturday
Rafa has talked about the injury, which he doesn’t think is long term:
“I don’t think necessarily long-term. For us, it doesn’t change too much our decisions on transfers.”
“We will see how he is, but we were thinking before and it is the same situation.”
“For him it is a blow. Hopefully, he will be fine, but in terms of the transfer window we were not considering anything.”
Here’s the picture of the injury that was doing the rounds yesterday:
It’s a pity we couldn’t see Mitro and Daryl Murphy in action up front in the 3-5-2 formation Rafa employed on Saturday, but Rafa has again praised the attitude of the experienced 33 year-old Irish striker:
“I have been really pleased with his attitude.” “He has been a great professional, then he got injured and after that we couldn’t give him continuity, but we are really pleased with him.”
“He must keep working, but he has a problem – that is Dwight Gayle, because he is scoring so many goals.”
“I am happy with Daryl and even Mitrovic.” “It was a pity to lose Mitrovic, because the two of them, they could be a threat for defenders and we had to change everything.”
“But Murphy, Mitro and Gayle are three good strikers, all working well – it’s a good problem for me.”
Those comments suggest Rafa will keep playing just one striker up front, so he may revert back to his usual 4-2-3-1 system this Saturday at Brentford with Gayle up front.
It could be that on Saturday he was just experimenting with a formation with two strikers up front, but he wouldn’t have learned much with Mitro out of action after just five minutes..
He did change things in the second half, but it was a 4-4-2 formation and he kept Murphy and Gouffran up front as the two strikers.
We’d like to see Daryl Murphy get more chances at Newcastle.
What do you think?