Both our Scottish Internationals Matt Ritchie and Grant Hanley managed not to play for Scotland over the Intentional break.
Gordon Strachan surprisingly kept the in-form Matt Ritchie on the bench for both of Scotland’s games for some strange reason – and Grant Hanley had to pull out of the squad with a slight injury.
And there’s good and bad news with our center-backs, with the injury to Ciaran Clark being worse than first thought and he will miss at least the next two games.
Grant Hanley in Scotland’s colors
The good news is that Grant is fit and he has shown in the past that he can come into the side and get the job done for the Magpies.
He also shows excellent leadership skills on the pitch.
This is what Grant has said today as reported in the Chronicle:
“You know that every game you go into in this league is going to be a fight.”
“Teams are going to be hard to break down and well organised. We’re no strangers to that.” “We know what to expect.”
“Once the international break is over, there’s only a month and a bit to go. It’s the back end of the season now so the games are more important than ever.”
“It’s the business end of the season really. Hopefully, the lads will be a bit refreshed after the international break.”
“It will be good to have had the break, and hopefully we’ll come back fully focused.”
Hanley will start in the next two games against Wigan and Burton and he will have another opportunity to show Rafa Benitez he can do the job once again for the side.
That’s one very good thing about having a large squad and good players this season, we have people to come in for those who get injured.
That’s something we haven’t had for too long at Newcastle.
But that’s one of just many things Rafa is changing at Newcastle United in his efforts to make Newcastle great again.