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Good News – Players On The Mend At Newcastle

After the disappointing draw at Birmingham last Saturday Rafa has more players injured with Grant Hanley the latest to pick up a knock and he’s now back at Newcastle having withdrawn from the Scotland squad.

Grant picked up the injury at Birmingham so it wasn’t while he was training with Scotland and it’s an ankle injury, but whether he will be fit for the game at home to Wigan on April Fool’s day we don’t know.

That’s also true with our other center-back – Ciaran Clark – who has picked up a knee injury and missed Saturday’s game and subsequently withdrew from the Ireland squad.

We think both players were withdrawn by Rafa as a precaution because of the big games coming up at Newcastle and they would not be able to play for their countries in any case.

Grant Hanley – disappointed with draw

One or both could be fit to play on April 1st however.

And Daryl Murphy has a calf problem which is currently being assessed by the Republic of Ireland medical staff,  although it’s not thought to be serious.

Grant Hanley was disappointed we couldn’t take all 3 points last Saturday as he had this to say in the local press today:

“It’s disappointing we didn’t get the three points.” “Every point’s important, especially when it’s so tight at the top of the league.”

“But it’s still disappointing not coming away with three.”

“When you come back you’ve got a month and a bit left.” “It’s really the business end of the season.”

“It’ll give the lads a chance to recover. You’ve got players coming back from injury as well.”

“It’ll be good for the lads to get a wee break and come back fully focused.”

The good news on the injury front is that we could have defensive midfielder Isaac Hayden back for the April 1st game against Wigan Athletic and that would be great news and hopefully Isaac can come straight back into the side.

He had surgery on his ankle, which had been troubling him recently, so hopefully Isaac can become a fixture again in the Newcastle side during the vital run-in to the season.

Newcastle seem to play well when Isaac is in the side.

And we could see American right-back DeAndre Yedlin back again  very soon and maybe he can play a week or so after the Championship  resumes on April 1st.

And Rolando Aarons could be available soon and even for the game against Wigan.

We need all the players fit so we can make that big push for promotion.

Things are not looking too bad on that front as long as either Ciaran Clark and/or Grant Hanley are fit for the home game against Wigan a week on Saturday.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

15 comments so far

  • sing in the corner

    Mar 21, 2017 at 7:56 AM

    Comment #1

    I like this player a lot. He’s been a solid signing, good no nonsense central defender with leadership qualities. Good in this league, maybe only lack of decent pace is what restricts him to this level or a backup role.

  • hibbit

    Mar 21, 2017 at 8:16 AM

    Comment #2

    every club needs a few players like Hanley & Murphy good solid pro’s very good to have round the club and both nave a very honest work ethic very professional on and off the pitch not world beaters but always give there best when called on
    both very good buys

  • Rotonda heights

    Mar 21, 2017 at 8:31 AM

    Comment #3

    Wonder when Welsh will be along with his daily dose of uplifting sunshine, positivity and good humour.

  • beermonkey

    Mar 21, 2017 at 8:35 AM

    Comment #4


    depends when his special needs teachers get fed up with him and let him on the internet

  • Laurent Robert 32

    Mar 21, 2017 at 9:02 AM

    Comment #5

    It’s good to have Hanley as a backup at least. He’ll want to play but good that he’s been patient, even though not in the side. He’s been generally fine when he’s been involved, and even got a goal.

    The extra squad players that Rafa got in have certainly come in useful over the course of the season.

  • lesh

    Mar 21, 2017 at 9:28 AM

    Comment #6


    Lol 😀

  • manxpie

    Mar 21, 2017 at 9:38 AM

    Comment #7

    Do the lads not usually get a wee break?
    Rafa really must be a hard task master then!

  • BeeGuy

    Mar 21, 2017 at 10:01 AM

    Comment #8

    Except for Yedlin, NUFC defenders are not good in transition or joining the offense in any meaningful way. You could see how easily Brum closed NUFC down by letting the back 4 have the ball. Given all the time they needed to make a pass, they lumped it forward or made a hash of trying to get it to an attacker.

  • martoon

    Mar 21, 2017 at 10:09 AM

    Comment #9

    manxpie – Lol – I find it hard to concentrate without a wee break 😀
    I’m not sure how Ed knows the injuries are ‘on the mend’ – there are no actual articles to support this!

  • Jib

    Mar 21, 2017 at 10:27 AM

    Comment #10

    Jermain Defoe has said in an interview that he feels he’s good enough to be in the England squad for WC 2018.

    Therefore if (when) Sunderland get relegated he would have to leave.

    He loves the north east.

    we wouldn’t !
    we couldn’t !

    could we ?

  • Lindisfarne

    Mar 21, 2017 at 11:11 AM

    Comment #11


    In your condemnation you explain the reason why the back four find it difficult to find a forward pass. If the opposition let our defenders have the ball, they then have ten players marking six of ours.

  • posada

    Mar 21, 2017 at 11:30 AM

    Comment #12

    I think you do have a point there.
    I can’t fully explain it as I am just a supporter and not someone who has played at a serious level.
    Think the key word is transition. When the ball falls to the other side they are always poised to break at pace.
    Can’t comment on Brum game as not seen it.
    However, in home games the other side tend to push right up and close down our back four.
    Perhaps it’s the slow nature of our midfield and not being able to track runs.
    Also, the midfield have to want the ball and make runs. The front players have to come short and interchange.
    However, I think they are under strict instructions to keep a particular shape.
    It’s got us top and if we can win the next two at home we are in a great position.

  • magspuggy

    Mar 21, 2017 at 11:32 AM

    Comment #13

    Hanley jumped straight back in the squad and played well imho.

    Clark has possibly been our most consistent player this year and by far our best defender

    I think both player will have a place with us in the prem

    I hope we keep yedlin to as I like him and Ritchie plays much better when he’s around

  • posada

    Mar 21, 2017 at 11:34 AM

    Comment #14

    Whatever they are doing by the way all teams now try it and know all about it.
    I would really like to hear a top coach explain it or be a fly on the wall when the opposition manager sets it out to his team.

  • Moonraker15

    Mar 21, 2017 at 12:43 PM

    Comment #15

    To play out from the back the players need to be comfortable on the ball and our back 4 isn’t particularly. Dummett is a good defender but he panics when he is closed down and gets rid of the ball. I think opposition know this and don’t give him space to play.
    However if you can play out, you usually have a forward pass on as opposition are well forward. Bad news for us is all back 4 and goalie need to be confident and usually any outlet is down the wings.


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