Benitez Doesn’t Rule Out Townsend – Injuries Improve


Rafa Benitez was positive as usual in his press conference today for the 4th round FA Cup tie at Oxford United tomorrow afternoon and the manager had some good news on the injury front.

Only Rolando Aarons, Vurnon Anita and Dwight Gayle are players still out injured with both Aleksandar Mitrovic and Jesus Games returning to training this week.

Dwight should be back in a week or two, Vurnon is out about another five weeks and Rolando may not be back until very late this season.

Rafa Benitez – during press conference

But Rafa still wants at least two players brought in during the next four days – a playmaker and a winger – while the transfer window is still open and he didn’t exactly rule out Townsend coming back either.

This is some of what Rafa said today at his 1:00 pm press conference:

“We have to balance if possible.”  “There is still some days and there is no news. I am still confident.”

“I am happy with the squad, but you cannot control injuries.” “It is always important because we are so close, we have to be ready.” 

“You know I like Andros but at the moment no news.”

“We are happy with the squad. We have to try to find something that gives more balance.”

“As a manager you always want to improve.” “You know that I like Andros but at the moment no news.”

“I’m still quite positive and happy with the squad and confident we can do something.”

The spirits in the squad are said to be high before the lads travel to Oxford and all Rafa is asking for is two good players to fortify the squad before our final push for promotion.

That’s not asking too much – is it?

How Will Newcastle Fare At Oxford United?

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61 comments so far

  • Ibizatoon

    Jan 27, 2017 at 3:32 PM

    Comment #1

    I’m left wondering how Rafa feels about Andros.

    If only someone would just ask him.

    0
  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Jan 27, 2017 at 3:34 PM

    Comment #2

    Puff, pant just caught this one.

    Essex Geordie Bill // Jan 27, 2017 at 3:32 PM

    A daft thought popped into my head, which player has been mentioned the most during all of the Toon transfer windows. I think it’s one of two but are there other contenders?

    0
  • hibbit

    Jan 27, 2017 at 3:35 PM

    Comment #3

    thanks Ron

    so we have room to manoeuvre !!

    0
  • WWSBRD

    Jan 27, 2017 at 3:35 PM

    Comment #4

    Two name checks for Townsend?

    0
  • WWSBRD

    Jan 27, 2017 at 3:39 PM

    Comment #5

    Essex
    Townsend, Lacazette, PEA, Austin, Barnetta and Carroll of the top of my head

    Probably Carroll number 1 though

    0
  • AncientC

    Jan 27, 2017 at 3:41 PM

    Comment #6

    Time for Townsend to put in a transfer request if he is serious about rejoining.

    0
  • barkel

    Jan 27, 2017 at 3:43 PM

    Comment #7

    WWSBRD @5

    Barnetta managed to escape the hotel!?

    0
  • hibbit

    Jan 27, 2017 at 3:44 PM

    Comment #8

    is Barnetta still locked in the Jesmond Dene Hotel must be 5 years now ??
    he’s my number one still going strong after all these years

    0
  • Jib

    Jan 27, 2017 at 3:46 PM

    Comment #9

    While it’s not good not to obsess too much about our closest rivals – I cannot help but notice that Brighton also have a tough 5 weeks coming up after this FA cup weekend.

    8 games

    February
    Thurs 2nd Huddersfield away
    Sun 5th Brentford away
    Sat 11th Burton home
    Tues 14th Ipswich home
    Sat 18th Barnsley away
    Sat 25th Reading home
    March
    Sat 4th Forest away
    Tues 7th Rotherham away

    0
  • WWSBRD

    Jan 27, 2017 at 3:47 PM

    Comment #10

    barkel
    I heard he dug his way out with a spoon covered the hole with a poster of Shearer

    0
  • YoungMagpieFromBurnley

    Jan 27, 2017 at 3:50 PM

    Comment #12

    Team for the cup:

    ____________Elliot
    Gamez_Hanley_Findlay_Haidara
    _______Shelvey_Colback
    Ameobi__Barlaser__Gouffran
    __________Mitrovic

    0
  • barkel

    Jan 27, 2017 at 3:52 PM

    Comment #13

    Jib

    I could see them easily picking up 18 points from those games

    0
  • barkel

    Jan 27, 2017 at 3:54 PM

    Comment #14

    WWSBRD

    That story sounds familiar .. he’s not playing footy on a beach in mexico now is he?

    0
  • Jib

    Jan 27, 2017 at 4:00 PM

    Comment #15

    Barkel that leaves them 6 short

    0
  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Jan 27, 2017 at 4:02 PM

    Comment #16

    WW

    Of that list PEA is the one I’d like to have happened.

    He was going for relative peanuts when we were interested.

    0
  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Jan 27, 2017 at 4:03 PM

    Comment #17

    YMFB

    Isn’t Sammy cup tied as well?

    0
  • WWSBRD

    Jan 27, 2017 at 4:04 PM

    Comment #18

    barkel
    I couldn’t confirm anything after all Ashley was furious he got away, I think he’s still searching for him

    0
  • Jib

    Jan 27, 2017 at 4:07 PM

    Comment #19

    Ameobi is cuptied

    0
  • WWSBRD

    Jan 27, 2017 at 4:07 PM

    Comment #20

    Essex
    I’d of had the lot happen at the time

    Oh Matuidi is another one, Zouma and Vertonghen as well

    0
  • barkel

    Jan 27, 2017 at 4:10 PM

    Comment #21

    Jib,
    Should have said 18 minimum. I’m not sure we’ll win all our games in the same period. I’m hoping with the set of fixtures after that we have a great opportunity to finish the season very strongly.

    WWSBRD,
    It’s almost unbelievable, it must be what has happened .. I could see a gripping movie being made about that

    0
  • Jib

    Jan 27, 2017 at 4:12 PM

    Comment #22
  • Ron Knee

    Jan 27, 2017 at 4:35 PM

    Comment #23

    Has anybody had problems accessing the articles just now? Maybe it’s my cr*p computer!

    0
  • hibbit

    Jan 27, 2017 at 4:38 PM

    Comment #24

    looks like the servers been down !!!

    0
  • Jib

    Jan 27, 2017 at 4:39 PM

    Comment #25

    Ron it went to 404 mode for about 10 minutes.
    Don’t throw your pc away yet
    😀

    0
  • Ibizatoon

    Jan 27, 2017 at 4:40 PM

    Comment #26

    Phew…Glad that panic is over!

    0
  • Jib

    Jan 27, 2017 at 4:48 PM

    Comment #27

    If I were Rafa
    I wouldn’t use one front line player ( other than Colback and Mitro who are coming back) in this tie.
    In no particular order I’d use these
    Sels
    Hanley
    Findlay
    Haidara
    Gamez
    Colback
    Lazaar
    El Mhanni
    Tiote
    Barlaser
    Mitro

    0
  • Ibizatoon

    Jan 27, 2017 at 4:50 PM

    Comment #28

    Jib…I don’t mind that at all, but would be tempted to select Elliot, rather than Sels.

    Mind, I haven’t seen or heard how Rob’s been doing with the unders and perhaps he’s not ready yet.

    0
  • Ron Knee

    Jan 27, 2017 at 4:54 PM

    Comment #29

    Jib@25

    Why does it do that?

    0
  • Jib

    Jan 27, 2017 at 4:57 PM

    Comment #30

    Thinking about it – a Conté style 3-4-3 could work

    HanleyFindlayHaidara
    GamezColbackTiotéLazaar
    El MhanniMitroBarlaser

    However who would do the David Luiz free ranging sweeper role is debatable.

    0
  • Jib

    Jan 27, 2017 at 4:58 PM

    Comment #31

    Ron
    Ed’s direct debit was bounced ?
    😀

    0
  • Jib

    Jan 27, 2017 at 5:00 PM

    Comment #32

    Seriously – if we all suffered , probably a brief outage in N.Carolina.

    0
  • Ron Knee

    Jan 27, 2017 at 5:01 PM

    Comment #33

    Thanks!

    0
  • Lindisfarne

    Jan 27, 2017 at 5:17 PM

    Comment #34

    The Guardian:
    Expect goals at the Kassam Stadium as Oxford United, with 11 in their three FA Cup victories so far, take on Newcastle United, comfortably the Championship’s top scorers. Both sides won their last league fixture 4-0, while the visitors have the top four tiers’ leading scorer in Dwight Gayle. Whether Gayle will be called upon is another matter. Newcastle’s only concern this season is securing a Premier League return, and Rafa Benitez rotated his team accordingly to get past Birmingham with the help of a replay. Michael Appleton is also facing a selection dilemma, with a rearranged EFL Trophy quarter-final against Bradford on Tuesday offering a much more realistic route to Wembley. Having outclassed Rotherham in the third round and upset Swansea in last season’s competition, the Oxford manager might still find reason to believe that victory, and a first fifth-round appearance since 1994, is a more realistic prospect than it looks on paper.

    0
  • Ron Knee

    Jan 27, 2017 at 5:25 PM

    Comment #35

    “Whether Gayle will be called upon is another matter.”

    The Grauniad hasn’t heard he’s been injured?

    0
  • Jib

    Jan 27, 2017 at 5:43 PM

    Comment #36

    Looks like it’s Supermac’s Derby County v Ranieri’s Foxes for tonight’s viewing .
    on BEEB1
    On here for expats

    https://www.filmon.com/tv/bbc-one

    0
  • Jib

    Jan 27, 2017 at 5:44 PM

    Comment #37

    Should have said FA cup

    0
  • Jib

    Jan 27, 2017 at 5:52 PM

    Comment #38

    Miles Starforth ?@milesstarforth

    Reliably told that Leganes midfielder Gabriel is NOT a target for Newcastle in this month’s transfer window

    0
  • YoungMagpieFromBurnley

    Jan 27, 2017 at 6:18 PM

    Comment #39

    Essex, jib.

    Oh yeah I completely forgot haha.

    Ermm, maybe we’ll see three at the back then?

    __________Elliot
    ____Gamez_Hanley_Findlay
    Sterry_Tiote_Colback_Lazaar
    __________Perez
    _____Mitrovic_Gouffran

    Would be interesting to watch.

    0
  • YoungMagpieFromBurnley

    Jan 27, 2017 at 6:20 PM

    Comment #40

    Or play Haidara at LWB and change the front three to this.

    Barlaser_Mitrovic_Lazaar

    0

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