Rafa Benitez is describing what he sees as a difficult game against Oxford United at the Kassam Stadium this afternoon in the 4th round of the FA Cup.
Newcastle will give chances again to a lot of the fringe players for this game but of course Rafa still wants to win the game, but we do have two Championship games coming up next week.
They are both at home against QPR and Derby County on Wednesday and Saturday so a majority of the first team players will be rested today.
Rafa Benitez – Newcastle manager
This is what Rafa said yesterday about the game:
“I can see a difficult game,” “It is a massive game for them, and they will approach the game that way.”
“At the same time, I have confidence in my players. I am confident we can go through. “If we can go through while managing the squad, then fantastic.”
“If not, we have to concentrate on the league.”
And Cheick Tiote could at last find an exit out of Newcastle and he will not be involved in the game today.
Rafa talked about Tiote’s current situation:
“It’s still the same. “We have clubs interested in him, and then we need to decide.”
“He will not be involved against Oxford.”
We were wondering yesterday if Tiote would be involved today, but we left him out of the team we think may start today – which is the following:
Gamez Hanley Findlay Haidara
Ritchie Shelvey (c) Lazaar
Cheick did play two games in the last round against Birmingham City and they could be the final two games he plays for Newcastle after six and a half years at the club, since he was signed from FC Twente in August, 2010 for £3.5M.