Rafa Benitez names the player he's ready to recall at Newcastle
Rafa Benitez is ready to turn to Javier Manquillo at Newcastle United '“ after losing Paul Dummett to injury.
Dummett will miss Monday night’s game against Burnley with a hamstring problem.
The defender suffered the injury while on international duty with Wales, though Benitez is not blaming Ryan Giggs for fielding Dummett against Denmark.
Dummett – who has had hamstring problems in the past – is still being assessed by the club’s medical staff.
In the meantime, Benitez must choose between Manquillo, Ciaran Clark and Kenedy for the club’s visit to Turf Moor.
“We have to think about Clark, Manquillo and Kenedy – different options,” said United’s manager.
“Manquillo can play as a left full-back. It’s not his position, obviously, because he’s right-footed. He’s been playing there for a while. Clark is left-footed. Kenedy is a wing back. We have options.”
Asked if he would play a five-man defence against Burnley to accommodate Kenedy as a wing-back, Benitez added: “We’re analysing everything. The first thing is to see how the players train.”
Dummett missed the first half of last season after suffering a hamstring injury on the opening weekend of the campaign.
Benitez said: “He had the operation in one leg. That is in the other one, he had some little problems before.
“But, because he knows his body, normally he’s managing that. In this case, an international game, he was there and we couldn’t have any control and then he carried on and felt it a little bit harder and then that’s it.
“Now, it’s just to assess him and see how he progresses.”
Asked if Dummett would not have played had it been a Newcastle game, Benitez said: “I don’t want to blame anyone. In the end, the players have some experience and also they can manage. It sometimes happens.
“We were in contact with them and had all the plan and everything that they were doing. But we cannot change anything now.”
On the club’s relationship with international federations, Benitez added: “Some federations are easier. Some federations are more difficult. It depends. In this case, Wales are fine.”
Benitez has not put a timescale on Dummett’s return.
“(Florian) Lejeune is an example,” said United’s manager. “We don’t want to give a date. Also, if you put a date in the head of the players, sometimes it’s quicker. In this case, we’ll just see how he feels, and afterwards we will continue.”
Benitez says international football is a “risk” to his players.
“You have a lot of managers complaining about the international break, not just because they play games and you change the way they train,” said Benitez. “It’s also because they have to travel, and come back late without sleeping properly in the plane. So many things are different that it’s a risk.”