Newcastle defender set to answer Wales SOS and lock horns with Aleksandar Mitrovic

Paul Dummett looks set to answer the prayers of Chris Coleman by stepping in to solve Wales' defensive crisis.

Wednesday, 9th November 2016, 6:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 16th November 2016, 3:09 pm
Paul Dummett, far right, in training with Wales yesterday

And in doing so is almost certain to lock horns with Newcastle United teammate Aleksandar Mitrovic.

Dummett is being tipped to come into the Welsh starting XI, who face Serbia at the Millenium Stadium on Saturday evening, as cover for James Collins, who has been forced to withdraw with a calf problem.

Veteran Collins is the second Wales casualty this week after fellow defender Ben Davies was also ruled out with a knock.

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With Coleman keen to stick to his policy of playing three at the back, Dummett is likely to slot into a central role, alongside James Chester, of Aston Villa, and Everton’s Ashley Williams.

And that would see the 25-year-old come face to face with the man who has been leading the Magpies line in recent weeks – Mitrovic.

When asked about how he would deal with the challenge of taking on United fan favourite Mitrovic, Dummett said: “He’s a big physical presence and showed how much danger he caused in the game [the 2-1 win over Cardiff on Saturday] with how physical he is, when the ball goes in the box and how he holds it up.

“I’ll give my thoughts to the manager and the other players and hopefully he doesn’t have too much effect.”

Dummett, who has won just two caps for his country, the last of which was 12 months ago, is not taking anything for granted, though.

On his potential selection, he said: “I know I’ve got good competition and the manager is picking other players.

“All I’ve got to do is do the best I can for Newcastle and hopefully sometime I’ll get a chance for Wales.

“I was gutted when I didn’t get into the final squad [Euro 2016] but those are the kind of disappointments you’ve have as a player.

“You have to get over it and carry on doing the best you can.”

Whether Dummett gets the backing of Coleman or not, he certainly has that of his Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez.

“Paul is a player you can trust. The kind of player people complain doesn’t get forward enough,” said Benitez.

“He can make a mistake, like anybody, but can be trusted. If he plays for his country he can do as well as anybody.”