Jack Colback has played in the last two games since he came back into the side to replace Isaac Hayden, who was having ankle problems and Newcastle have done well enough with 4 points from two tough games at Wolves and Norwich.
Tonight we take on Aston Villa who have had a bad time of it in the Championship and are a full 30 points behind Newcastle in the league and we must win this home game.
If we can do that we will go back on top and it will be another valuable 3 points in our promotion drive.
Isaac Hayden – out for four weeks
Jack’s contribution to the team doesn’t always show through, but he is a hard worker and of course being a Newcastle lad he will be desperate – like the rest of us – to see Newcastle get promoted back to the Premier League this season.
This is what Rafa Benitez has said in the Chronicle today about some of his central midfield options:
“We knew that when Shelvey wasn’t involved that Hayden and Colback were really important for us.”
“We also lost Anita.” “So Hayden and Colback were really important.” “Now Jack is available again it means we can manage.”
“Anita is also coming back and we have the option of Diame, but Diame is more offensive.”
“We need to find the balance and sometimes it’s not easy to give some freedom to our wingers or offensive players.”
“We will try to do well with the players that we have.”
“The way that they work in the training sessions you always have to have confidence in them.”
Vurnon Anita could be on the bench tonight and Vurnon is an option for Rafa at either right back or in his former position in defensive midfield.
We are without Isaac Hayden for about four weeks after he had surgery on his ankle, but everybody else except Rolando Aarons are available, so the injury situation at the club remains good.
It’s another area in which Rafa and his team have made vast improvements this season and it’s gone unheralded.
But that’s what you get when you have somebody as good and as experienced as Rafa Benitez in charge of all football matters at Newcastle.
We love it.