By Coral Barry

Moussa Sissoko has been spending the week training at left-back for Newcastle as they prepare for their crucial Premier League showdown with Norwich on Saturday.

Newcastle travel to Carrow Road without a senior left-back fit after Massaido Haidara was ruled out of the clash due to a knee problem he picked up in training last week and Benitez has revealed he plans to turn to Sissoko.

Sissoko is an attacking midfielder by trade but Newcastle’s injury crisis has called for some drastic solution, and Benitez has admitted that regardless of the Magpies’ injury woes, there will be no excuses come Saturday.

“In every game he [Sissoko] has played on the left and in the last one he was left-back and was fantastic,” said Benitez speaking at his Norwich press conference, as quoted by the Mirror. “He knows he has to do whatever he has to do. So I think the atmosphere [in training] has been very positive.

“The players realise it is time to do things better because, if not, we cannot win.”

Rafael Benitez is in talks to become the new Newcastle manager

Solution seeker: Benitez has turned to midfielder Sissoko to fill in at left-back

The absence of long-term injury victim Paul Dummett and the suspension of the versatile Jack Colback means that Newcastle have turned to Sissoko to solve their left-back dilemma.

Benitez has already issued a warning to his squad that failure to maintain Newcastle’s top-flight status in the last eight league games will not only affect the club’s reputation.

Newcastle know a victory would potentially lift them out of the bottom three, but face a Norwich side who is coming off the back of their first win in 11 league matches.

In other Newcastle news, Rob Elliot has provided a positive injury update after he was ruled out for six months.