Newcastle United have been given an injury boost ahead of this weekend’s trip to Swansea City. Francisco de Miguel Moreno was standing in for Rafa Benitez at the pre-match press conference and the Chronicle report the following quotes from the Spanish coach:
“Chancel is not too bad. Reading the newspaper, it seems like it was a bad injury. Today we don’t think so. The assessment is quite good. DeAndre is working very well – he is working hard to get to the game. He has been training fully in the last three or four (sessions), so I think he has a good chance to come to the game. Lejeune, as well. They are both in the same situation.”
The news regarding Mbemba is positive as it was feared that he would miss a significant portion of the season. Lejeune and Yedlin are arguably first-team starters when everyone is fit, which means that the squad will be stronger for their return. It would be a risk to bring both into the starting eleven on Sunday, but they are both likely to feature.
Ciaran Clark has emerged as one of the most important players in the Newcastle squad since joining from Aston Villa. He spoke to the press ahead of the trip to Swansea and admitted that it was business as usual for the players, despite the absence of Benitez.
“Obviously, we hope Rafa can be back soon but we are getting on with things and working hard. We’re focused on the game on Sunday. We will just go out there and do the things we’ve done since I’ve been here. The coaches put on a session and we know what we need to do. We know what we need to do, we go out there and do our jobs.”
It will be a huge blow if Benitez isn’t back in time to take his place on the touchline against Swansea, but the players can deliver without him. The manager’s health issues could motivate the team to get a positive result for him. They know the system and know what it expected of them. It won’t be an easy game, but they have the quality to take something from it.
The club have now announced their sleeve sponsor for the season as they have agreed a deal with MRF Tyres, according to the Chronicle. The Indian company will now be on all kits this season and this is seen as a good deal for the club as India is a growing market. After it was agreed that Premier League clubs could have a sleeve sponsor, it was important that the Magpies found one as it is a key revenue stream.
Newcastle haven’t been as effective as they could be when it comes to commercial deals. They are not one of the top clubs, but they are in the Premier League and need to take advantage of that brand as much as they can. Supporters will be hoping that this has brought in revenue that could later be used in the transfer market, as the club were short on funds during the summer.