Rafa Benitez gives update on ‘concussed’ Aleksandar Mitrovic and Dwight Gayle

Dwight Gayle last night
Dwight Gayle last night

Rafa Benitez’s hopeful that Dwight Gayle and Aleksandar Mitrovic WILL be fit to face Brighton and Hove Albion.

The Newcastle United strikers were both forced off against Cheltenham Town last night with concussion.

I’m really upset with the injury of Rolando.

And Rolando Aarons suffered a foot injury in a 2-0 win for Benitez’s side.

Ayoze Perez scored both United’s goals with a bandage around his head after suffering a cut in a clash of heads.

Newcastle manager Benitez, however, is confident that Mitrovic and Gayle will be passed fit to take on Chris Hughton’s Brighton on Saturday evening.

“I’m really pleased, because we went through, but disappointed because we have three injuries ... two concussions that I don’t think will be a problem,” said Benitez.

“I was talking with them (Mitrovic and Gayle) at the end of the game and they were fine. But Rolando has a problem with his foot, so we have to wait and see what the doctor says.

“That is the most serious one.

“In the end we won, and hopefully they will be fine. That is the only positive.

“I’m really upset with the injury of Rolando. We have to wait to see what the doctor says.”

Benitez was pleased with the match-winning performance from Perez, who was recalled to the starting XI.

“It’s important for him and the team,” said Benitez.

“When you have different players scoring goals, it’s good for the team and the manager. It’s problem for me, but I like these kind of problems.”

Benitez – who made eight changes for the tie – also handed defender Jesus Gamez, signed from Atletico Madrid, his debut.

“It was important for him and also the other players that were not playing,” he said.

“When you change the team and win, the squad is stronger. If you lose, you have concerns about the level of the players. I’m pleased because Gamez did well.”