Rafa Benitez reveals why Jesus Gamez has not been seen on the pitch at Newcastle

Jesus Gamez
Jesus Gamez

Rafa Benitez is hopeful that Jesus Gamez will be back in contention at Newcastle United after the international break.

The defender, signed from Atletico Madrid in the summer, has played just 18 minutes of football in the Championship so far this season.

Gamez has been sidelined with an Achilles tendon problem in recent weeks.

And Newcastle manager Benitez – whose side was third in the Championship ahead of this afternoon’s game against Rotherham United – is keen to see the 31-year-old out of the treatment room and pushing for a place in his team.

Asked about Gamez, Benitez said: “I was talking with him. He was with the physio.

“We have the international break. We will have some time.

“Hopefully, he can be a little bit better.

“He has a problem with the Achilles tendon.”

Meanwhile, Benitez feels the Rotherham game will be “difficult” – despite the home club’s lowly league position.

Alan Stubbs’ side are bottom of the Championship after taking just six points from their first nine games.

Benitez believes his team must strike the right balance between defence and attack.

“It’s quite difficult,” said Benitez.

“They have a good team offensively. The two strikers are good players.

“If we press high, maybe the can play counter-attack.

“If we wait and play counter-attack, people will say ‘if you are stronger, why do you wait?’.

“It’s not easy to decide what to do. It depends on your players. You have to make sure your decisions are right.”