When Newcastle United’s team was announced before Wednesday night’s home game against Burton, it occurred to me that both Jack Colback and Isaac Hayden were missing from the match day squad.
Their disappearance saw Mohamed Diame revert to a deeper, central midfield role alongside Jonjo Shelvey.
Colback and Hayden’s loss turned out to be Diame’s gain, with the midfielder, who has predominately been used in a more advanced ‘No. 10’ role, enjoying his newfound role in the side – a position he was so used to playing in during his time at Wigan and West Ham.
Whilst there was whispers on social media explaining their absence, Rafa Benitez explained to the Chronicle today just why the duo missed out on Wednesday:
“Jack Colback was feeling bad during the night, a lot of fever, and he was not available.
“Isaac Hayden was a little bit tired after the last game against Wigan, and so we didn’t want to take any risks.”
I was particularly looking forward to the return of Hayden, whose presence has been missed in the Magpies’ midfield over his 10 game absence following ankle surgery in February.
It has been reported that the 21 year-old felt some ‘tightness’ after his substitute appearance against Wigan on Saturday, but thankfully, Rafa suggests Hayden could return against Sheffield Wednesday tomorrow:
“I think Hayden could be fine (after) a couple of days to treat him and to work with him.”
Hayden’s tough tackling and physicality would be a timely return for tomorrow’s game, given I fully expect a high intensity clash at Sheffield Wednesday. Jack Colback could also return to the squad, depending on his recovery from a fever.