There have been some worries during the week about whether Jamaal Lascelles would be available for the very important game tomorrow at home to bottom of the table Swansea City
But Rafa has said Jamaal is fit and ready to play, although we still have Aleksandar Mitrovic, Florian Lejeune, and Jesus Gamez not available for this game through injury.
Wonder how bad Lejeune’s injury is – since we will need him through the end of the season.
Rafa Benitez – during press conference
Rob Elliot is fit again so we will have to wait and see if Karl Darlow keeps his place after having a great game in the 1-0 win at Stoke and doing well last Saturday too against Luton Town.
Here’s some of what Rafa said Rafa starting with the captain who is fit:
“He is the captain, a leader and is a good example for everyone.”
We have Jesus Gamez, Florian Lejeune and Aleksandar Mitrovic injured. Mitrovic has been running and is closer.” “Those three players will not be available.”
“We have to approach this game with the same mentality as the last few games. It will be a massive game for us, a massive game for them. Hopefully, we will win.”
“Swansea have a new manager and they are quite organised, quite disciplined. We need to be sure that we don’t lose the game but have the mentality that we will win. It will be tough.”
“We are working on transfers but there is no news at the moment. We don’t have any offers. All the names that you can read in the press, some of them are not true.”
“It is not a question of needing to sell to buy. The January window is so complicated. If some players leave, it’s because we have a replacement.”
“We have a lot of people working, talking to agents, giving us names and options. I have to concentrate on games and Saturday is an important game for us.”
“We are still working on things. I am hopeful we will do something. I still don’t know the budget but we are working on it.”
It’s a bit ridiculous that Rafa still doesn’t have any notion of what transfer funds are available.
Maybe Mike Ashley needs to meet face to face with Rafa soon, but not before tomorrow’s important game.
Ashley could helicopter up to Newcastle and have a one-on-one meeting at Benton to sort out what’s going on in the transfer window with Rafa and get some agreements in place. – he could do that early next week.
It wouldn’t hurt.