Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Benitez Will Ring Changes for Swansea; Defensive Reshuffle Could Be on Cards

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Benitez Will Ring Changes for Swansea; Defensive Reshuffle Could Be on Cards

Article excerpt

Byline: Chris Waugh Sports Writer @CHRISDHWAUGH

RAFA Benitez has promised to ring the changes in a bid to save Newcastle United's floundering season but it is understood the Magpies boss was relaxed about the heated exchanges in the dressing room at St Mary's.

Daryl Janmaat's unfortunate incident aside, it is believed the Magpies boss felt content to allow honest opinions to be exchanged between Newcastle players.

Over recent weeks, underlying tension is understood to have grown among the players as United's crisis has deepened.

Fearing the friction could spiral out of control, Benitez is believed to have been comfortable the frank exchanges both at half-time and following the 3-1 defeat at Southampton occured between a of United's relegation-threatened players.

Jamaal Lascelles is understood to have been one of the more vocal voices within the dressing room after the loss to Saints and he was also brutally honest in his post-match interviews.

The fact Janmaat punched a wall and injured two of his fingers - having already hobbled off with a groin injury - was frustrating for Benitez but the pressure valve being released on the heightening internal dressing-room tensions was viewed as a necessity.

Now Benitez is preparing his squad for two vital home games within the space of four days.

First United host Swansea City at St James' Park on Saturday before welcoming Manchester City to Tyneside on Tuesday night.

Benitez made clear after the loss to Southampton he was contemplating big alterations to Turn to Page 51 FROM BACK PAGE his starting line-up for the next away trip but the changes could at least begin at home against the Swans.

For a start, a national media report has claimed Steven Taylor will be dropped after he was hooked at St Mary's following a woeful opening 45 minutes. …

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