PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Christian Atsu – Rafa Benitez protecting Ghana winger

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Christian Atsu – Rafa Benitez protecting Ghana winger
Newcastle United's Christian Atsu (left) speaks with Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez

by Graeme Jackson

Monday Apr 23, 2018. 13:00

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez says he will protect his players from now until the end of the season, using Ghanaian winger Christian Atsu as an example.

With the Magpies having reached the 40-point mark in the Premier League and thus effectively secured survival, Benitez can afford to rest players who have minor injuries.

Newcastle will face Everton at Goodison Park in their round 34 match this evening, but Atsu will not be travelling with the squad due to injury.

And Benitez will not be in any rush to bring the Black Stars winger back, allowing him time to fully recover.

“He [Atsu] has a knee problem. It’s just a little problem and he has had an injection so we just have to be careful with him,” Benitez said in the build-up to tonight’s match.

“It depends on his reaction as to whether he’ll play again this season. The plan is to keep him out of this game, see how he feels next week, and then see.

“If we have little problems, then we will try to protect the players if we can do it. We don’t want to take any risks with anyone when we don’t need to, so we’ll wait this week and see how he reacts.”

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