JOHN Carver says he’ll have to start pulling rabbits out of a hat at Newcastle United – if he loses another defender to injury.
Massadio Haidara will miss tonight’s home game against Manchester United with a knee problem.
Our squad, at the start of the season, was in a healthy position. The only thing you can do is go into the out-of-contract market, and it might be something we look at – but not yet.John Carver
Head coach Carver – who has already lost defensive duo Steven Taylor and Paul Dummett to season-ending injuries – is set to field Ryan Taylor at left-back against Louis van Gaal’s side at St James’s Park.
However, if the 11th-placed club, which sold Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa and loaned out Davide Santon in January, loses any more defenders to long-term injury, it could even look at signing an out-of-contract player.
“The squad itself is big enough – we’ve just been so unfortunate with these injuries,” said Carver.
“You have three, four maximum of these long term injuries normally per season, but we’ve had more than that with nine.
“We’ve had four knee injuries, and a player with a collapsed lung (Siem de Jong). It’s very unusual, and something we can’t affect.
“You can make excuses, but these are facts. I’ve just got to get on with it.
“Our squad, at the start of the season, was in a healthy position. The only thing you can do is go into the out-of-contract market, and it might be something we look at – but not yet.
“I don’t want to think about getting another injury too much I’ll delay with it if it happens. I’ll stay positive, but we’ve got a few players we need to manage.
“With another injury I’ll have to start to try pulling rabbits out of a hat. If you think too much about injuries, they start to happen.
“We’ve got to manage Ryan and Gabby (Obertan), because they’ve been out for a while, we’ve got to be careful with them.”
Carver, however, hopes to have Haidara, Remy Cabella, Rob Elliot and Rolando Aarons for the club’s Premier League game against Everton at Goodison Park on March 15.
“Next week we’ve got three players coming back, which is important,” said Carver.
“Rolando will join us before the end of next week, which is great, along with Robbie Elliot. Everton might be too soon for Rolando, but the fact that he’s back training next week is great news.
“Remy Cabella is back next week, so that’s three big boosts for us.”
Haidara, meanwhile, has had an injection since being forced off against Aston Villa last weekend.
“Massadio Haidara has got a bit of fluid on the knee, and has been for an injection, so he almost certainly might not make it tomorrow,” said Carver.
“We’re short of defenders, and we’ve not got many possibilities, so Ryan comes into contention. He filled that role very well the other day, so he’s certainly in contention.”
NEWCASTLE UNITED’S INJURY LIST:
Rob Elliot (hip/thigh) – starts training Monday
Rolando Aarons (hamstring/thigh) – back towards end of next week
Facundo Ferreyra (slipped disc) – available in two to three weeks
Steven Taylor (Achilles) – back in pre-season
Siem de Jong (collapsed lung) – back in pre-season
Curtis Good (hip) – back in pre-season
Paul Dummett (knee) – back in pre-season
Cheik Tiote (knee) – back in pre-season
Remy Cabella (knee) – starts training Monday
Massadio Haidara (knee) – hopefully available for Everton