With Islam Slimani not even being in the squad on Sunday, fans were a little worried in case his thigh injury was worse than first reported.
But Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez has said Islam is just fine, and hopefully, he will be fit and ready for our game at Bournemouth on February 24th.
It is the FA Cup 5th round this coming weekend.
Islam Slimani – he’s fine
But Rafa is not worried about his new loan signing, and with a two-week break after the Manchester United game, Rafa didn’t have to take any chances – and we won the game in any case – so that’s all good.
This is what Rafa Benitez has told the local press about Islam’s thigh injury:
“He’s fine, but still he was feeling it a little bit.”
“And it’s a question now of waiting because we have 15 days before the next game so we can keep working with him.”
Newcastle have had very few injuries this season, and at the moment Newcastle have Jesus Gamez recovering well from an ankle injury.
Ciaran Clark is fit but was rested last Sunday after he picked up a slight knee injury in the previous game against Burnley.
This is all a lot different from two years ago when we easily finished top of the Injury League but 3rd bottom of the Premier League and relegated.
And the lack of injuries is due to the professionalism and experience of a certain Mr. Rafa Benitez.
Newcastle usually go on a warm winter break, but Rafa has never done that since he’s been at Newcastle.
Seems like Rafa doesn’t believe in vacations during the season.
There – I’ve said it!
Rafa has elected to give his players some time off this week after their heroics last Sunday.
But it will be down to the hard work of preparing for AFC Bournemouth soon – and that’s a game we have a (very) good chance of winning.
Hopefully, Slimani will start the game.