Speaking to the press ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Cardiff, Rafa Benitez has confirmed that the game will come ‘too soon’ for DeAndre Yedlin despite his return to full training.
The gaffer has also responded to today’s rumours linking Isaac Hayden and Ciaran Clark with loan moves away (after reported interest from Aston Villa and Stoke), stating there is ‘nothing’ in those claims – sounding like he has no interest in letting either go.
First things first, here’s what he had to say when asked about Yedlin’s situation, confirming that he won’t be risked:
“He has been training but it is too soon for him this weekend.
“He’s getting better, has been training with the team in the last two sessions, but still, it could be a risk – and we don’t want to risk anyone. He will stay here, and not be part of the squad. But he’s getting better, so I think next week, he’ll be fine.”
Frustrating, but a wise move. After all, we feared he may be out for several months when we saw him heading straight down the tunnel struggling to walk last Saturday, so we’ll manage without him for one game.
Then to Clark and Hayden rumours, Rafa sounded adamant that he would not be letting either leave on loan – saying that we don’t have the squad depth to let senior players leave.
Here’s what he said when asked if there was anything in talk of either leaving on loan:
“Nothing. Anyone who is in our squad, they will not go as we don’t have too many players.
“Some young players need loans, but we don’t have the numbers to allow others to go.”
Finally, hear’s what Rafa had to say about our new signings, the squad and tomorrow’s game against Cardiff:
“The new signings have settled in well. Some of them who don’t know the PL like Schar & Muto might need a bit of time.
“Rondon, Ki & Fernandez already know it well.
“The squad for me is stronger than before, we brought some players – but is the XI better? We will see.”
Rafa on Cardiff:
“We created so many chances during the second half last weekend. We need to do the same at Cardiff for 90 mins if we can..
“Cardiff are very strong physically, it will be a tough atmosphere, & we have to be both physical & try to play good football to beat them.”