Dwight Gayle Is Fit And In The Squad For Norwich

Rafa Benitez has just completed his press conference for the Championship game at Norwich tomorrow night when a full fixture list in the Championship will take place.

Just like the last game at Wolves we will need another win to stay at the top of the Championship, but it will be another extremely difficult game against a side who won 5-1 at home to Nottingham Forest on Saturday.

The good news from the press conference today is that Dwight Gayle is fir and back in the squad for tomorrow night’s game.

Dwight Gayle in the squad

Some of Rafa’s initial comments are now out on the Newcastle United Twitter account and also on Chronicle Live.

“We have Dwight Gayle in the squad, so that’s good news.” “We have 25 players available so it’s a problem for me, but it’s a good problem too. It’s a boost.”

“And it’s important to have the top scorer back.”

“Shelvey did well, it was not easy but he was professional and focused.”  “The FA investigate other things, maybe they can for this.”

“You can see center-backs smashing into Mitro and nothing happens.”

“It will be a very tough game tomorrow.” “In the first part of the season, they were a team that were candidates to win the title.”

“They’re a very good team, with experience in the division.”  “They have players with quality who know their jobs.”

“Norwich are very dangerous. But we have to approach this game with the right mentality because it’s a tough game.”

The fans are not too confident about tomorrow night’s game and it’s the lowest percentage who think we can win the game for a very long time.

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Comments welcome.

34 comments so far

  • Chancel My MBembaship

    Feb 13, 2017 at 1:11 PM

    Comment #1

    I totally agree with Rafa, it will be a very tough. Nothing else really needs to be said.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 13, 2017 at 1:13 PM

    Comment #2

    Munster OUT!


    Feb 13, 2017 at 1:14 PM

    Comment #3

    Howay Rafa what should the FA investigate? Chants directed at Shelvey were pretty fair really and defenders on Mitro? Give over


    Feb 13, 2017 at 1:15 PM

    Comment #4

    Am looking forward to Norwich because they will do exactly what they shouldn’t against us which is have a real go at us and we will better them like last time

  • mad-serb

    Feb 13, 2017 at 1:17 PM

    Comment #5

    Afternoon Guys

    Guess we will get Rafa´s recactions about his new link again later today. Think its just paper talk. Firstly I don’t think Wegner is retiring this year. I think he will have 1 last go. He needs to win something before he will pack it up in my opinion.

    On tomorrows game I would say very hard game that could suite us, but will be happy wit a point and move on to the next game. I like how Rafa almost forces other teams to play some footy against us and then at some point we hit them on the country. Most teams when they play us almost sets up to defend at home against us and then we almost give them the ball and lets see what you can do till they stat getting more confident ad then in one move gets caught out.

    Its probably not meant that way but with Rafa you never know

    Our next 4 away games I guess will be key to determine how easy or hard promotion will be.

    we play the best 4 home records in the league and taking 4 – 6 point would be perfect for our confidence as well as points tally.

    I recon around 90 points gets you promoted this season.

    Without being rude I would say that Bristol, Barnsley, Wigan, Burton and Preston should be all wins which are 15 pints. If we get 4-6 points from the next 4 away game that leaves with 2 or 3 wins required from the remaining 7 games.

  • Hail Wor Ashley

    Feb 13, 2017 at 1:33 PM

    Comment #6

    Rafa is just tapping into the siege mentality method.

    It’s a good move, the rest of the division does see NUFC as a scalp and is out to ‘get us’.

    Any way Rafa can frame that to help fortify team spirit and gives us added determination is smart management.

  • toontaff2

    Feb 13, 2017 at 1:35 PM

    Comment #7

    Taffy Dummett in team of the week!
    Whitley Bay, kimbo, tut tut -the lad’s world class- watching him bombing down the flanks at SJP, dribbling, step-overs, inch-perfect crosses, and all –
    I often think I’m in the Maracanã watching Brazil.

  • toontaff2

    Feb 13, 2017 at 1:37 PM

    Comment #8

    15 pints, mad-Serb? We’re not that bad to watch! 👿
    3 pints for Villa game, too!!

  • martoon

    Feb 13, 2017 at 1:37 PM

    Comment #9

    I’m still not sure Rafa will start Gayle – more likely to come on as a substitute hopefully to get the last 20 minutes when we are cruising to a win 🙂

  • giimps

    Feb 13, 2017 at 1:40 PM

    Comment #10

    I would still like to see Mbemba at dm, especially away from home, shelveyjust in front to pass the ball out and diame, ritchie and gouffy as a front 3 am, gayle as striker making funs in behind.mbemba must be better than Colback and Hayden can be used at home ,along with atsu instead of gouffy.

  • mad-serb

    Feb 13, 2017 at 1:44 PM

    Comment #11

    On Mitro I agree totally with Habbit. I think the goal keeper was the man of the match for me. not everyday you get one that would almost plead the case for Mitro in that situation but I think he knew that there was no intend and scratched down him left leg with no real impact on the follow through.

    Looking at the replay he missed the ball by a cm so normally the striker should try to get something on the ball.

    If the keeper makes a meal of that he was sent off but would be harsh as the first was never a yellow card. As for some saying he was looking for the defender. Yes he was but not for any malicious reason. He did so to determine where he is so that he can get in front of him to hold the ball up. Its about knowing his position so that you can get in front of him and not allow him to come from the side and head the ball away from you.

    I still think Mitro is improving and his game is being slightly adjusted to the way Rafa want himto play. I think this is a learning season for him and he will be all the better for it come next season. And to be fair some calling him a thug in the case and someone that cannot be trusted I would say look at his record. firstly nothing over the top just a bad decision by the ref to book him after 14 minutes for nothing. Then trying to win a 50/50 ball which I would want my striker to have gone for.

    Then staying calm for the rest of the halve not giving the ref anything else to think about. No further fouls. Kept under the radar and scored his goal.

    People remember the 3 bad tackle the 2 he got sent off for and the one he could have on debut. But if you look through the season, this was the only time he got anywhere close to being recless for some.

    Season Games goals yellow red

    12/13 36 15 8 1
    13/14 45 19 9 2
    14/15 51 28 11 0
    15/16 36 9 4 2
    16/17 20 6 4 0

    That for me show he is improving his discipline all the time he is growing older. People forget that he is only 22 years old.

  • martoon

    Feb 13, 2017 at 1:45 PM

    Comment #12

    toontaff2 @7 – I always stick up for Dummett and think he is a decent defender. However on Saturday he had a mixed game and I certainly wouldn’t have put him in my team of the week – it has to be Lascelles and Clark.

  • LGFUAD21

    Feb 13, 2017 at 1:48 PM

    Comment #13

    My take on Mitro:

    Rafa is spot on with Mitro. He neds more protection from refs.

    His second challenge (on the keeper) was perhaps a yellow at best.

    His first booking was never a booking.

    Center backs have been all over him and the minute he uses any force back he gets a booking.

    Rafa was 100% right to remove him at half time though. He was riding his luck on his first yellow.

  • mad-serb

    Feb 13, 2017 at 1:48 PM

    Comment #14


    I was just hand picking those 5 games which I would say everyone would expect us to win at home. Villa is included in the 7 games of which we required 6 points as you know our record against them.

    They have robbed us the last 3 times we played them, so just put them not in the banker group 😉

  • cyprus

    Feb 13, 2017 at 1:51 PM

    Comment #15

    Your points make sense though your name tag may not help convince people 🙂

  • sing in the corner

    Feb 13, 2017 at 1:53 PM

    Comment #16

    The Mitro question is difficult. You make a decent case for him, the bit I tend to disagree with is ‘he is improving’. In my opinion he is staying where he was when we bought him. He hasn’t improved his positional play, his hold up play is suspect most of the time. I don’t have he figures but I would suspect for a striker his chance/goal ratio seems low.
    We aren’t playing to his strengths, I will give you that.

  • cyprus

    Feb 13, 2017 at 1:55 PM

    Comment #17

    That Dummett chap keeps improving. I was critical of him but he hardly puts a foot wrong these days, is dynamic and preemptive, especially regarding defending.

    Well done to get in the championship team.

  • toontaff2

    Feb 13, 2017 at 1:55 PM

    Comment #18

    Martoon, I think most agree Dummett is a solid defender, but limited going forward. He did seem to be on a mission Saturday to lump the ball anywhere! But ‘kimbo’ saying he should go to Whitley Bay……….

  • giimps

    Feb 13, 2017 at 1:57 PM

    Comment #19

    That graph shows me he has 36 yellow cards and 5 red cards in 5 seasons since he was 17.
    Seems a lot to me and i can understand why he is treading water every game as he is a marked man , in the eyes of the ref he is a wreckless player and should be watched whenever he goes for a ball, in the eyes of the defenders he is up against its an easy free kick as they know what the ref is thinking.
    Tiote has gone through the same predicament after the first couple of seasons he darent tackle anyone for fear of getting a yellow as he was marked by the refs before he even stepped on the pitch.
    i think because of this , Rafa will only use him sparingly between now and the end of the season and sell him if he cant play his normal game without being punished by the refs

  • cyprus

    Feb 13, 2017 at 1:58 PM

    Comment #20

    We haven’t yet had our annual thumping, which is good news 😉

    Our defense is pretty good – and we are NUFC! Almost doesn’t make sense 🙂

  • Hail Wor Ashley

    Feb 13, 2017 at 2:06 PM

    Comment #21

    Mitro should be sold in the summer. Think we could recoup most if not all of what we paid for him.

    Mitrovic hasn’t shown any willingness to improve unlike Shelvey.

    Still not fit enough for the modern game. Doesn’t have anything like the intensity or stamina to press effectively and consistently, which means other players get dragged out of position, plugging gaps where he should be engaging a man but is instead strolling around.

    When his fitness and mobility aren’t letting him down, very often his concentration is and his positional sense suffers because of it.

    As somebody said yesterday, if a ball isn’t pinpoint to him he’s not interested, rarely does he attack the ball.

    Temperament will always be an issue because he’s daft as a brush. This is another instance where he goes missing for crucial moments and compromises shape as he has a little huff.

    Oh and it takes him 3 to 4 good chances to score 1.

    Cash in and Rafa can sign a ST of his choosing to compete with Gayle.

  • toon kk

    Feb 13, 2017 at 2:22 PM

    Comment #22

    Hope Gayle makes a big difference, we’re really missing him atm. To beat Norwich we’re going to have to up our game. Our defence has done a great job keeping us in games and helping grind out results, but cirtain aspects of our game too often looks poor. We give the ball away to easily and are often second to to the ball.
    I do think the pressure is getting to our players especially at home. We’re great fans but soon maybe stress player into pressurised mistakes.

  • clinath@ed

    Feb 13, 2017 at 2:27 PM

    Comment #23

    I had us down to draw against QPR and Derby and lose to Wolves at the start of the season. If I stick to them every game we’ll get up easily. Got us to lose again tomorrow…so that’s 3 points in the bag.

  • mad-serb

    Feb 13, 2017 at 2:28 PM

    Comment #24


    I might be a bit bias on Mitro but I guess we all have our players we allow some room 🙂

    The thing is with him I saw him play for Anderlecht a few occasion as I was working in the area at the time and everytime I saw him I thought this guy will be a top player.

    The difference he has found in England is that he was for most of last season and in parts this season used just to get us up the field for most parts and playing basically with his back towards goal, where as when he was playing for Anderlecht it was the opposite end of the spectrum. He was allowed to attack balls in the box and players feeding him balls and he was their main goal threat not just with his head but also scoring goals from outside the box left foot right foot. he scored different types of goals.

    In England they see him only as a target man which is where I differ from what I have seen from him. It just means he is learning to play a different role in England but given time I believe he will come good. The question probably will be if it will be with us or not.

    I don’t think there will be a shortage of taker if we cash in. He was tracked by some big clubs and when we signed him I was actually shocked as Porto thought they would get him.

  • lesh

    Feb 13, 2017 at 2:30 PM

    Comment #25

    Four points about the Rafa-Arsenal link:

    1- it wouldn’t have arisen had Ashley kept his hands out of transfer dealings this window;

    2- the more involvement for Carr didn’t help

    3- Rafa’s possibly got his PR guys on the case to let the world know he could be in demand from a club that would value him and not interfere;

    4- if the Mirror is our preferred media partner, relieving them of that role would show the Rafa link to be unwelcome.

    So, we need to see some decisive action from Ashley to back Rafa and stop meddling in his work.

    It’s up to Ashley to ensure continuity with a world-class manager, the like of which we’ll never get again if he (Ashley) pu$$es Rafa off this time.

  • Mister Tuff

    Feb 13, 2017 at 2:38 PM

    Comment #26

    My doubts about Mitrovic increase as the weeks go by.
    He clearly left his foot in on the challenge with the goalie. Those who didn’t see it that way are probably the same folk who think any foul words never came out of Shelvey’s gob ever.

    The point about Mitro never attacking balls – what eh. He rarely gets any balls to attack.

    He certainly does not look all that mobile at the minute.

  • Mister Tuff

    Feb 13, 2017 at 2:40 PM

    Comment #27

    lesh @25 at point 3.
    Sounds interesting – when will Rafa’s PR guys be publishing their report.

  • posada

    Feb 13, 2017 at 2:43 PM

    Comment #28

    Mad Serb
    Made a similar point on here a while back.
    If you want to see a team play to his strong points then look at him play for his national side.
    Do we ? Could We ? Would we want to ? Play that way.

  • mad-serb

    Feb 13, 2017 at 2:44 PM

    Comment #29

    Did Rafa comment anything in his press conference about the link?

  • Ron Knee

    Feb 13, 2017 at 2:59 PM

    Comment #30

    “Rafa Benitez shrugs off link with Arsenal and gives Newcastle fans a positive answer on his future.” (The Chronicle)

  • Hail Wor Ashley

    Feb 13, 2017 at 2:59 PM

    Comment #31

    Think Hayden, Murphy and possibly Atsu will come into the starting line-up tomorrow.

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Feb 13, 2017 at 3:08 PM

    Comment #32

    Wouldn’t be surprised RAFA starts with the same team that started on Saturday if all fit.

  • mad-serb

    Feb 13, 2017 at 3:31 PM

    Comment #33


    Do we – No

    Could we – I believe there it is possible, with Shelvey Atsu and Richie in the side you have enough quality delivery, Richie seems content to cut in or rather pass to Shelvey on the outside of the box and try and pick a pass than to get it into the box.

    Would we want to – Open for debate although I would say we play to the strengths of Gayle when he plays. But then again the way we play at the moment although not the best to watch at times but it is very effective. A little like Mourinho´s tatics at Chelsea, where they could grind out 1 – 0 results.

  • Jib

    Feb 13, 2017 at 4:32 PM

    Comment #34

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