There’s some good news from Rafa Benitez this morning that Isaac Hayden should be back in training at Newcastle in a few days and there has to be a very good chance he will be fit for our next game at home to Wigan a week on Saturday.
It will be a welcome return for Hayden who has had an excellent first season under Rafa Benitez at Newcastle and has improved a lot in such a short time.
Mo Diame was played in the holding position last Saturday at Birmingham after Jonjo Shelvey had been sick the day before, but it looks like Shelvey and Hayden will both be fit for our next game against Wigan and that has to be good news.
Rafa Benitez and Isaac Hayden
We have had some problems this week with Daryl Murphy and Grant Hanley hit with injuries and Ciaran Clark still recovering from his knee injury.
Rob Elliot also withdrew from the Ireland squad with a knee injury.
Rafa was asked if Diame could be utilized in a defensive midfield role and this is what he said as reported in the Chronicle today:
“He could play in that position but it also depends on the players around him.”
“Hopefully Hayden will be back in a few days and then we should also have Jonjo back to full strength.”
“With Jack as well, that means quite a lot of competition – but it’s good to have options, especially if you have to change something during a game.”
“I thought Mo was fine on Saturday.”
“We knew it could be a difficult game because they have three players in the middle and we had to manage that.”
“But I thought Mo gave us some fresh legs and won plenty of second challenges.” “He was fine, he was passing the ball and also regaining some balls that we lost.”
“It was just disappointing that maybe some of the things we did in the wide areas could have been better.”
“That might have helped us score a goal. It didn’t really happen though.”
“I wouldn’t say that we were happy, but maybe one more point with one less game is positive.”
More good news is that both Hanley and Elliot were seen training with the first team squad yesterday.
With Clark still doubtful that should mean that Hanley can again deputize for Ciaran against Wigan.