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14th Jan, 2017 | 5:16pm

27-year-old should be axed: Three things we learned about Newcastle in win over Brentford

By Dominic Toner

Football Insider analyses three talking points from Newcastle’s 2-1 victory against Brentford in the Championship on Saturday.

Colback should be axed

Newcastle midfielder Jack Colback should be dropped from the starting line-up in the future. The Magpies face Birmingham in an FA Cup replay on Wednesday, before hosting Rotherham at St James’ Park and may need Colback due to a lack of options. However, the 27-year-old should be left on the bench in the future and Jonjo Shelvey is available again after serving his five-game suspension. Shelvey needs to return to the side to give his composure on the ball, while Colback proved against Brentford he can be sloppy in possession. The left footed midfielder gave away the ball on several occasions and is not at the same level of playmaker Shelvey. He is a useful asset to the Newcastle squad as he can cover several positions, but should not be in the club’s strongest XI going forward.

Gayle would be a huge miss

Newcastle supporters will be praying that Dwight Gayle’s injury is not too serious after he was forced off against Brentford. The 26-year-old went off in the first-half with a suspected knee injury and the seriousness his potential absence can’t be understated. He gave the Magpies the lead in the first-half with a superb finish from a tight angle and the team’s system fell apart went he left the field. Gayle gives them a great outlet and it was noticeable how much they miss him when he doesn’t player. Gayle scored his 20th goal of the season against Brentford and that has come in just 24 games. Daryl Murphy came on to replace him and there is no way he can match Gayle’s goalscoring record, despite being proven in the Championship.

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Benitez squad extremely thin

Newcastle saw Dwight Gayle, Isaac Hayden and Vurnon Anita all forced off the pitch against Brentford, with the latter looking the worst of the lot. Rafael Benitez’s squad is now looking very light as they also have players on duty at the Africa Cup of Nations. They may have to turn to some of the club’s youth players in the upcoming FA Cup tie and will be hoping that the injuries occurred against Brentford aren’t too serious. Benitez may even be tempted to dip into the transfer funds during the January window as he will be keen to keep their title charge going. They moved to the league summit with the three points, but are in serious danger of falling away due to their thin squad.

In other Newcastle news, the club’s youngster has explained what will inspire him to succeed.

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