Report: Benitez given Newcastle injury boost ahead of Wolves clash
By Will Butcher
Isaac Hayden is set to hand Rafa Benitez a huge injury boost ahead of Newcastle’s trip to Wolves on Saturday, according to a report.
The former Arsenal midfielder was forced off the St. James’ Park pitch on Saturday in the 49th minute against Derby during the 1-0 win, as he struggled to continue with an ankle injury.
However, the Shields Gazette claim that Hayden is set to return to against the Midlands club despite coming off early against Steve McClaren’s side.
Benitez was quoted by the Shields Gazette as saying that the 21-year-old was suffering with the ankle injury after the draw to QPR, but proved that he was fit enough to start on Saturday.
“It’s his ankle,” said Benitez. “He tried to be fit. We knew that we had one less day to recover (after QPR) and we would maybe have some problems with players. But he did really well.
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“He was the only one before the game that he could be a risk with his fitness and also his ankle.”
Hayden has been one of the first names on Benitez’s team sheet this season, featuring alongside England international Jonjo Shelvey in the middle of the park in the Spaniard’s 4-2-3-1 system.
Making 32 league and cup appearances, the versatile youngster has starred in the Toon’s promotion chase as he continues to provide an extra blanket of cover over the defence.
Football Insider verdict:
The form of former Sunderland midfielder Jack Colback is a huge cause for concern. Despite a proven Premier League midfielder, Colback has struggled to find the form that made him a top-flight regular. Bringing Hayden back in, then, is of vital importance as Colback is yet to provide the standard required by Benitez to start in the Toon’s promotion-chasing side. Hayden’s presence in the side allows Shelvey to dictate play as he hassles and harries opponents to give the former Liverpool star time and space to orchestrate the Magpies’ attacks from deep. Hayden should start, even if he is not fully fit.
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