Javier Manquillo was one of the four players forced off through injury in the 3-0 defeat to Leicester City on New Year’s Day. The Spaniard was the worst off of the four and finally made his return yesterday in the 0-0 draw against Burnley.
Manquillo has shone this season playing as part of a back five in the wing back role. So his performance yesterday in a back four was quite encouraging.
The Spaniard got forward quite a bit and did an admirable job marking Burnley winger Dwight McNeil, who had played very well against us in the 1-0 defeat at Turf Moor.
Having Javier back in the side gives Bruce a reliable option for the remainder of the season as long as the 25-year-old remains fit.
Speaking to nufc.co.uk after the match yesterday, Manquillo is happy to get a full ninety minutes under his belt and claims he can do it again on Tuesday at West Brom if called upon:
“Well, I’m available for (Tuesday’s game), like everybody else. Everybody would like to be involved (on Tuesday), but it’s the manager who will have to choose.
“I’m very pleased (with today) because it just shows that all of the work I’ve done during the rehab has been worth it. I was able to cope for 90 minutes with no problems, so I’m very happy with that.
“(To return) for this game was more or less my plan. It’s true that it was a little bit of a complicated injury in the early stage, but it doesn’t matter – the important thing is that I have come back stronger and now I’ve got through 90 minutes without any problems, and that is very important for me.”
Manquillo also spoke about yesterday’s disappointing draw against Burnley in which we extended our goalless run to four games. His comments are very familiar to what another returning Magpie, Dwight Gayle, had to say after the match.
Javier is very pleased with the effort but concedes that scoring goals in the new system was a focus this week. In that regard, Newcastle did not prove successful.
However, the 25-year-old vows that he and his teammates will continue to work to try and get the attack going. This is what he had to say about the mood in the dressing room after not scoring in another match:
“I don’t think it affects the changing room too much – we are working in every training session to try and not only score but score and win. If it doesn’t go, we have to keep trying – that’s the only way we can do it.
“To be fair, we had so many chances today to get something and more. But in the end, football is about scoring goals, and today wasn’t the day. We need to keep trying.
“We changed the system, but we were playing in our stadium in front of our supporters, and we knew we needed to win this game or try to win it. We couldn’t do it, but still, it was a good performance.”
Newcastle welcomed back both Javier and Jonjo Shelvey yesterday while Dwight Gayle also got his first start since injuring his hamstring in January. Isaac Hayden and Matt Ritchie also came back into the team after not starting the previous two.
Hopefully, these veteran Magpies can be the ones to lead Newcastle to safety in the coming months. They’ve all been on Tyneside since our first season back in the Premier League with just Javier not being part of the Championship squad.
Having them fit and able to contribute will be vital to us staying above the drop zone in the next ten games. Let’s hope these familiar faces can rally the troops for the season’s final stretch.
Who Was Newcastle's Best Player In 0-0 Draw Against Burnley?
- Miguel Almiron (39%, 496 )
- Jonjo Shelvey (16%, 202 )
- Matt Ritchie (12%, 153 )
- Dwight Gayle (9%, 109 )
- Martin Dubravka (7%, 93 )
- Javier Manquillo (6%, 74 )
- Joelinton (5%, 60 )
- Federico Fernandez (2%, 26 )
- Jamaal Lascelles (2%, 21 )
- A. Saint-Maximin (1%, 13 )
- Danny Rose (1%, 12 )
- Isaac Hayden (1%, 11 )
Total Voters: 1,270