Rafa Benitez sweating on the fitness of key player for Newcastle’s visit to Norwich

Newcastle United's Isaac Hayden.
Newcastle United's Isaac Hayden.

Rafa Benitez will make a late decision on the involvement of Isaac Hayden at Carrow Road.

The Newcastle United midfielder was an unused substitute at Molineux on Saturday.

Sometimes we think it’s a couple of days, then not. We have to keep working on that.

Rafa Benitez

Hayden was left out of the starting XI because of a minor ankle problem which the club’s medical team havebeen managing on a week-to-week basis.

Jack Colback returned from illness against Wolverhampton Wanderers, beaten 1-0 by the Championship leaders.

And Benitez will make a late decision on who will partner Jonjo Shelvey in his midfield for tonight’s game against Norwich City.

Asked about Hayden’s injury, Benitez said: “We are treating his ankle, and then we’ll decide.

“Sometimes we think it’s a couple of days, then not.

“We have to keep working on that.

“You cannot control during the game if you have a bad tackle.

“We just have to wait and see how he progresses.”

Otherwise, Benitez has almost a fully fit squad at United.

Vurnon Anita and Rolando Aarons are the only two players with long-term injuries.

Asked about the injured list, Benitez said: “We just have Aarons and Anita. The others have been training, so very few problems.”

Meanwhile, forward Haris Vuckic netted twice in a 4-0 Premier League Cup win for Newcastle’s under-23s over Bristol City yesterday,

New signing Victor Fernandez and Jamie Holmes were also on target for Peter Beardsley’s side at Whitley Park.