With Rafa recovering from an operation he had last Friday, assistant manager and fitness coach Francisco de Míguel Moreno (Paco) has been speaking with the media in place of Rafa today.
First of all, he said Rafa is fine and will be fully recovered in a few days time, but it’s not clear if the manager will make the game at Swansea on Sunday although we think it’s a decent possibility.
Other good news Paco gave was on Chancel Mbemba and it seems the club do not think it’s a serious injury, but he didn’t have any detailed prognosis on the injury.
And both DeAndre Yedlin and Florian Lejeune will be fit for the game – but it’s not clear either player will start against Swansea.
Francisco de Míguel Moreno at press conference today
This is some of what Paco has said this afternoon in the 1:30 pm press conference:
“Rafa is ok. He had a small operation on Monday and he is recovering. He will be fine in a few days.”
“We are still doing the same stuff we do when Rafa is here.” “It is different when he is here but it is all under control.”
“He has been on the phone as he normally does.” “We are in touch and we are preparing every single detail for the match together.”
“Chancel is not too bad but will miss the game. Reading newspapers, it sounded a bad injury but we don’t think so.”
“Dwight has been training well and will be part of the squad. DeAndre is working hard to be ready. He and Florian are training fully.”
“Mikel and Jonjo have been training well. We have a training session tomorrow and after that, we will decide on the team.”
“Swansea are a good side with a good manager. It will be tough. We have to have the same commitment and passion as the last game.”
It’s good that Rafa is fully involved in the preparation via phone but his presence on the touchline is very important for Newcastle – he is one of the best touchline managers in the game today and has been for some time.