Dwight Gayle was brought on for Joselu after 68 minutes in yesterday’s 2-2 draw at St. Mary’s and Rafa was hoping to use his pace against what could have been a tiring Southampton defense.
But Dwight picked up a calf injury, and he couldn’t run properly although he was kept on the pitch by Rafa.
The good news is that Rafa doesn’t seem to think the injury to Dwight is a serious one and he only picked it up with 10 minutes to play in a game we really deserved to win yesterday.
Dwight Gayle on the bench yesterday in the first half
This is some of what Rafa said in the local papers after the game yesterday as reported in the Shields Gazette:
“Dwight, we cannot say too much, because when he came we were expecting to use his pace.”
“But he had a little problem with his calf. He was working very hard, but with a problem.”
“In the last 10 minutes we were playing with just 10 players. Even then, he was still running and he was chasing some balls and passing.”
“But we couldn’t use his pace in the last 10 minutes, and that was a pity because we were under pressure and he was maybe the solution for us.”
“But after the run he did, he was feeling a little bit stiff in his calf and he couldn’t run in the same way.”
We’ll have to wait and see how severe the injury is and if Dwight cannot play at home to Crystal Palace on Saturday, then it will be an excellent opportunity for Aleksandar Mitrovic.
Mitro has been in form for Serbia as they qualified for the finals of the World Cup in Russia next summer and he is keen to stake a claim for a place in Rafa’s side.