Ciaran Clark OUT of Newcastle's visit to Birmingham

Ciaran Clark
Ciaran Clark

Rafa Benitez has suffered an injury blow on the eve of Newcastle United's game at St Andrew's.

Benitez, already without DeAndre Yedlin, has had to rule defender Ciaran Clark out of the Championship fixture against Birmingham City.

Clark was forced off against Fulham last weekend with a knee problem.

And United manager Benitez said: "He has a problem with his medial ligament. He will not be available."

Yedlin, meanwhile, is sidelined with a thigh injury.

Newcastle lead the Championship on goal difference after last weekend's 3-1 home defeat to Fulham.

Benitez said: I was very disappointed about losing to a good Fulham team, but we made too many mistakes and lost an opportunity to get three points.

"The good thing about this division is that you soon have another game.

"We have this game and seven in the future, so we just have to think about the future.

"But it was a reminder that we have to keep working the way we did before. We have to make sure everyone is on their toes and ready.

"If we play at the level we normally play, I don’t mind if we are home or away.

"We can compare them because we are doing so well away. It’s strange, but hopefully we can improve at home."