web analytics

These Two Players Could Help Seal Newcastle Promotion

We have been short of some of our best players over these last two weeks and Isaac Hayden finally returned from his ankle injury against Leeds United and made a big difference.

Two of the players we are still missing are our top scorer Dwight Gayle and our best defender this season – Ciaran  Clark.

A week or so ago Ciaran was said by Rafa to be almost fit after picking up his knee injury in the 3-1 defeat at home to Fulham on 11th March.

Ciaran Clark – fit for Preston?

When Ciaran was injured it was said to be a knock and it wasn’t thought serious, but he’s now been out over five weeks and missed six crucial games.

The next three games are spread out a little bit so if Ciaran and Dwight are not fit for the game on Monday night against Preston he could be fit to pay at Cardiff on the following Friday night

Actually it’s because of TV that we have delayed our Preston game to Monday night and have an early Cardiff game on the following Friday night.


Getting Ciaran Clark back to steady the defense is a key thing, but we don’t know if Dwight Gayle will be fit.

Dwight Gayle – hamstring injury

Maybe he can be fit for the last two games of the season, but with chronic hamstring injuries in his career, Rafa could be unwilling to risk the striker.

Let’s hope Ciaran can play on Monday.

Comments welcome.

38 comments so far

  • LewSpi v2.0

    Apr 18, 2017 at 7:45 PM

    Comment #1

    There must be only Newcastle United who could have Rafael Benitez in the championship and still find a way to whinge? Yes he’s made mistakes, he’s well out of his comfort zone, he even told us he would make mistakes before the season began.

    Haway lads give your heads a wobble man.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Apr 18, 2017 at 7:49 PM

    Comment #2

    What with the exciting brand of total football Mike Ashley has exposed us to, they have every right to demand complete perfection from the team and manager.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Apr 18, 2017 at 7:51 PM

    Comment #3

    It’s a strange kind of love when all a fan can do is whinge about someone.

  • LewSpi v2.0

    Apr 18, 2017 at 7:53 PM

    Comment #4

    You’re right. Hes ruined us.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Apr 18, 2017 at 7:54 PM

    Comment #5

    When I spent seven years moaning about Ashley it’s because I wanted him gone, I still want him gone but while he has a top manager in place I am not whining about him. I wanted his slimy patsy gone that’s why I whinged about him, I can’t understand why you would spend so much time criticising someone yet still want him at the club.

  • toon kk

    Apr 18, 2017 at 7:58 PM

    Comment #6

    I don’t think anyone has said they want Rafa oot, several would like to see more attacking football, which is understandable. Man u fans wanted the same before “the special one arrived “!!!!
    Rafa is a great manager i will judge him once we’re promoted with the right player’s .
    Atm our players are letting us all down including themselves. Rafa is as bewildered as we are.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Apr 18, 2017 at 8:00 PM

    Comment #7

    Not you in particular I meant you as a collective, as I think your criticisms are inconsequential imo.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Apr 18, 2017 at 8:05 PM

    Comment #8

    toon kk,
    In an ideal world we would love to see attacking football but we knew that Rafa was not an out and out attacking manager but the fact that people are using this to say he was past his best is quite frankly ridiculous, sacked or not he was at Real Madrid just over a year ago ffs, Steve McLaren would not get a job at Real Madrid, there are only a handful of managers in the world considered good enough. We are in the Championship with a UEFA elite manager ffs with one of the worst owner English football running us, what do people want.

  • Blackley and Brownlie

    Apr 18, 2017 at 8:06 PM

    Comment #9

    I see yer man Brereton’s doing brilliantly at Forest. Sometimes it’s just about getting the chance. I’ve just taken in Huddersfield reserves v Birmingham. Huddersfield had five or six first teamers playing but you wouldn’t know it, apart from Sean Scannell. Some of their u18 players look very decent prospects but will they get the chance? Hudds deservedly got beat 3-2.

  • LewSpi v2.0

    Apr 18, 2017 at 8:12 PM

    Comment #10

    With a bit of luck Huddersfield have accepted a play off finish, meanwhile Fulham have everything to play for on Saturday.

  • toon kk

    Apr 18, 2017 at 8:20 PM

    Comment #11

    I agree with you, although I would like to see more attacking football i won’t deny it. I think we should count ourselves very lucky we have Rafa as a manager, he’s saved our club from self destruction down to MA.

    I just can’t wait to get promoted and see what Rafa can do with the right player’s.

  • posada

    Apr 18, 2017 at 8:38 PM

    Comment #12

    The leeds match reminded me of the Man Utd game in 96.
    Great atmosphere, but things would just not go our way.
    I think Preston will be similar as far as the occasion goes. Hopefully we will come up with the result.
    Seems we play well when we have a full week to prepare. Not so when we only have 3/4 days.

    Rafa does not look happy at all. Something is going on.

  • Munster Mag

    Apr 18, 2017 at 8:43 PM

    Comment #13

    The appointment of Rafa at Madrid was a bizarre one. A defensive cautious manager at the most exciting brand in world football. Not a match made in heaven , and the players weren’t happy. However, for a club like us who needed to learn to defend and offered him that chance of building something big, it was ideal. It may be too soon to say, but something tells me that if he wont play attractive football in the Championship, he surely wont in the prem. Anyway, if we don’t win next game and Hudds do, all bets are off, but we should be ok. We owe Derby a collective pint because a win for Huddersfield would have rattled NUFC to the core.

  • lochinvar

    Apr 18, 2017 at 9:16 PM

    Comment #14

    Uncle Harry takes over at Birmingham who he reckons need 4 points to avoid relegation and one of their games is at home to Huddersfield

  • cyprus

    Apr 18, 2017 at 9:19 PM

    Comment #15

    When people were still talking about breaking 100, I thought we’d be crawling over the line:

    March 12, 2017
    I watched some of the Preston Reading game yesterday, some good football by Preston.

    Many teams play well, prettier than us, even, in this league. We’ll drop many points as will the chasers. 91 points equals automatic promotion will stand, I think. Hopefully we can crawl there.

    Next year we’ll need serious overhaul if we’re to compete in the PL with the likes of… Hull ?”

    Now I think we’ll only get another 3-4 points, and that will do – just.

  • JamesToon

    Apr 18, 2017 at 10:00 PM

    Comment #16


    I still don’t get this argument about Rafa playing “unnatracttive football” maybe in the second half the season, he’s set the team up to make sure we get the points, and priorities that overcfancy football.

    But I’ve said this time and time again, did no one enjoy the football we were playing in the first half of the season?? Did no one enjoy those hammerings of qpr, Preston, Ipswich, Birmingham, Rotherham?? I thought we played some very good football then, playing out from the back, keeping possession and working the ball, carving the opponents open.

    I’ve looked at whoscored also, pretty sure we’re top 5 in the league for most amount of short passes, up tjeir for most possession, near the bottom for long balls (only occasionally when we’re sitting back does rafa encourage direct)

    I honestly remember people on here praising Rafa and loving the football we were playing in October November, absolutely loving it, hammering teams etc this second half has just been about getting the job done, he doesn’t care if that takes a bit of ugly football, it’s why he’s a winner, because he’ll change the style etc in any way that he sees fit to win. Like mourinho, he’s a tactician

    When we get better players, we will play better football, Gouffran Dummett Anita Colback are very limited in their abilities and it’s obvious Rafa has been overachieving with them, I genuinely don’t think any other manager apart from very few in the world would have us in this position with this squad

  • toon kk

    Apr 18, 2017 at 10:11 PM

    Comment #17

    Tbf i think Rafa is under pressure , he’s lost our main goal scorer in Gayle.
    Our players are to blame they’ve lost confidence and simply aren’t giving 100%.
    We can’t handle the pressure and are making silly mistakes.

  • martoon

    Apr 18, 2017 at 10:57 PM

    Comment #18

    The problem is definitely in the player’s heads rather than their ability. Hopefully with a full week’s preparation Rata can sort it out and we get a victory against Preston which should be enough!

  • ShirebrookToon

    Apr 18, 2017 at 10:59 PM

    Comment #19

    We’re Newcastle
    we’ve thrown away the league
    we’ve thrown away the league
    we’ve thrown away the league

    We have, we have, we have, we have


    If you don’t laugh you will cry

  • Average_Contents

    Apr 18, 2017 at 11:52 PM

    Comment #20

    Wouldn’t go that far like shire.

    Bit of a wobble and a few 50p – 20p moments to come I’m sure but I’d rather be in our position than any of the chasing pack.

    I bet the majority of toon fans would of snapped your hands off in the summer to be in the position we find ourselves in right now.

    Sure, we probably should be a bit further ahead and yes we’ve dropped points when the pressures been on but throughout the season we’ve shown we can bounce back from minor setbacks and I’m sure we’ll do it again when Monday rolls around.

  • Average_Contents

    Apr 18, 2017 at 11:55 PM

    Comment #21

    Promotion first, title secondary.

    Yeah it would of been nice to win it obviously, the icing on the cake so to speak but as long as we get over the line I’m not bothered now.

  • Fostino

    Apr 19, 2017 at 1:33 AM

    Comment #22

    People need to pipe down about sacking rafa. You know nothing about football if that’s what you think is best for the club. Rafa is transforming us both on and off the pitch. He is our only hope of undoing the bad aura laid down by ashley. Rafa. .a champions league manager is our only ray of light of getting us to push in the right direction. You can sense he has a genuine interest to see us improve. Hands down he is the signing of the season. He needs to be back by the board. Hes already backed by the fans. Sure he’s not immune to criticism but anyone can see that the players adore him. If we are to attract any big names it will be as a result of his influence firstly. Open your eyes those people who doubt rafa. It’s just a small blip we are having. A lot of players are letting us Down but fear not rafa will have seen this and will eject them from the club asap.

    In rafa i trust. Best manager since sir Bobby! !

  • sing in the corner

    Apr 19, 2017 at 1:51 AM

    Comment #23

    Well done Rafa,in advance.
    We are going up. Thank you for sticking with us. I don’t see how we could have bounced back up from where we were a year ago, without you at the helm!! I really appreciate what you have done for our club, our city, when you could have easily walked away without blame!!
    Toon forever!

  • ron burgundy

    Apr 19, 2017 at 5:31 AM

    Comment #24

    he still might

  • lochinvar

    Apr 19, 2017 at 6:47 AM

    Comment #25

    You really wonder who’s paying the officials these days.
    Athletico get a penalty that should never have been awarded in Spain and take that advantage to Leicester where they duly win.
    Bayern have a player sent off in dubious circumstances and Ronaldo scores a goal from offside.
    The games are awash with officials and yet decisions are wrong.

    UEFA and FIFA need to prove they are above suspicion and introduce TMO before they get found out as incompetent or even worse.

  • martoon

    Apr 19, 2017 at 7:33 AM

    Comment #26

    lochinvar @25 – I still don’t understand what the extra officials on the goal line do? They never seem to see anything or do anything!

  • Tsunki

    Apr 19, 2017 at 8:04 AM

    Comment #27

    The main reason why technology isn’t used is imho down to the fact that that computers generally don’t accept bungs.

  • Tsunki

    Apr 19, 2017 at 8:07 AM

    Comment #28

    Although I think my autocorrect became self-aware some time ago and accepted a bribe to knack up my spelling at random. I hope you are happy Autocorrect when you’re lying on the deck of your yacht off Nice while I’m languishing in Spelling Jail.

  • Tsunki

    Apr 19, 2017 at 8:07 AM

    Comment #29

    I have heard though that some hard drives are corrupt….

  • LewSpi v2.0

    Apr 19, 2017 at 8:08 AM

    Comment #30

    I think TMO should definitely be considered in some fashion. More and more often bad decisions are costing clubs millions of pounds and robbing supporters of the chance to see a fair game.

    It’s not just the odd call either, high profile referees are getting the laws of the game completely wrong on an ever increasing basis.

    Can’t help but question whether or not there’s alternate motives.

  • Ibizatoon

    Apr 19, 2017 at 8:09 AM

    Comment #31

    Tsunki…Do you not think the technology will be fully implemented sooner, rather than later?

    Can’t see after all the discussion and trials of the tech, more importantly that it works, how they can backtrack on it.

    Mind, it’d be interesting to see how they would word the reason being that they haven’t yet figured out how to bribe the computer.

  • Ibizatoon

    Apr 19, 2017 at 8:10 AM

    Comment #32

    I think it’d be best to allow Twitter votes to decide match decisions.

    Seems a pretty perfect solution.

  • Tsunki

    Apr 19, 2017 at 8:21 AM

    Comment #33

    It’s taken an uncomfortably long time to introduce simple technology to assist , not take over, officiating. The idea of it somehow subtracting from the organic nature of human oversight has always had the ring of untruth to me, especially in the wake of the FIFA scandal (even then as an organisation they are getting away lightly) it seems to me that somebody high up in the game would like to reserve the flexibility to “steer” certain games and even competitions to the best financial advantage . After all, it’s not a sport so much as an entertainment industry. And of course it has that healthy link to gambling. It’s a no-brainer really.

  • martoon

    Apr 19, 2017 at 8:21 AM

    Comment #34

    LewSpi v2.0 @30 – You can understand getting judgement calls wrong especially when they only have one view and a split second to make a decision. However getting laws of the game wrong is unforgivable such as in our infamous penalty incident. Even if they are not sure they have the other officials to consult with so should never get laws wrong!

  • Ibizatoon

    Apr 19, 2017 at 8:29 AM

    Comment #35

    Tsunki…Indeed, it is only to assist and there will still be many decisions that wont have such assistance.

    Step by step though.

    As with most things, it’s hard to totally avoid corruption. It’s what makes the world go round. Or maybe that’s starting another debate. It’s what makes the world stay flat and definitely not spin. There, bases covered.

  • Nufc-83

    Apr 19, 2017 at 8:47 AM

    Comment #36

    Manpixie your praise for Colback and Dummett a few post back makes me sick. You say they do their main Job well and deserve praise for this yet we are meant to be a team building for life in the top flight of English football.

    Lets first look at Colback and understand what he does well – he works hard errr what else does he do well as I am really struggling so you will have to help me out. He passes 5 yards back or sideways, he is not physically commanding, he is not athletic and has no pace or power, he does not have a good shot or any creativity. I think I could go and watch a few conference sides and find a player that if he played for Newcastle would work harder and offer very little else.

    Same for Dummett as he defends like a Trojan at times but what is the point in being a left back when he cant do anything in possession. He receives the ball and literally cant wait to get rid and often ends up punting it long back to the opposition. I could find so many players in the lower tiers of the game that could be solid defensively but offer nothing going forward.

    When you compare them to top players in the prem for example Kante works harder, timing of the tackle is unreal, his reading of the game is outstanding, he can carry the ball forward even beating one or two people to open up space, he has decent long range pass and can actually create chances. Ok we are a long way off getting a Kante but can we have a cdm who has more attributes than working hard please. We should not be praising players for having the basic skills you expect of someone playing professional football at the top flight of the English game.

  • clinath@ed

    Apr 19, 2017 at 8:54 AM

    Comment #37

    FIFA will get away with it scott free, if they award the USA the 2026(?) world cup.

  • Moonraker15

    Apr 19, 2017 at 10:58 AM

    Comment #38

    This league is so unpredictable. We could beat Preston 5-0 or struggle to get a point. I think the former more likely looking at their form and not a lot to play for. It would be nice to get the win and if Huddersfield dont beat Fulham we will be promoted. You wouldnt wanna lose that one and have to win at Cardiff!
    Howay the Lads! You can do it!


You must log in to post a comment.