Newcastle face Blackburn Rovers this weekend as they look to make it 10 wins from 10 games in the Championship.
Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez
Newcastle take on Blackburn this weekend at St James' Park with one thing on their mind, another win. If they are to claim victory, which would be their 14th of the season, it would see them consolidate their place at the top of the table and also make it 10 wins in 10. However, coach Rafael Benitez will be very aware that star players Jonjo Shelvey, Jack Colback and Paul Dummett are all one booking away from a suspension, but, in an interview with the Chronicle he played this worry down.
Newcastle were in fine form last weekend as they brushed Leeds United aside to take their points tally to 40 for the season. With those below them dropping points, Newcastle were able to extend their lead to five points, while another win this weekend could see that gap become even wider.
At the moment, it seems as though nobody can stop Benitez's inexorable force, which is making a mockery of their Championship opponents. However, Benitez will, at some point, have to plan for games without defender Dummett and midfielders Shelvey and Colback, who are all one booking away from a suspension. Benitez though, as calm as ever, played down this worry as he told the Chronicle: "When you compete at this level you have to win almost every game. They know they will be booked at some time but we will manage".
This sort of confidence is one of the main reasons why the Magpies have been so strong this term. When a first choice player is unavailable, Benitez does not lament their loss, instead, he brings in another player that he feels will do exactly the same job, thus instilling confidence in the team and their ability.
Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez and Jonjo Shelvey
The manager does not seem like the type of person to keep deadweight in his side, therefore, every one of the players will know that a time will come when they are called upon, and they should be primed and ready to make the most of their chance.
Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez shakes hands with Matt Ritchie after the game