Newcastle United fans here in the Tavern are hoping their side can avoid relegation, as the weekend’s defeat against Liverpool has many fearing the worst.
The Magpies were on the receiving end of a dominant Liverpool performance at Anfield on Saturday, as Rafa Benitez had a day to forget at his old stomping ground after suffering a 2-0 defeat. And, with relegation rivals Swansea City, Southampton and Stoke City all making ground in their fight for survival, it’s left Newcastle United now only two points off the relegation zone. Although, many of our local northerners did receive some positive news this morning, as according to reports in the Shields Gazette, Mikel Merino is feeling “fit” and “good” after struggling from a number of problems in recent times.
Merino was in the Newcastle United side that was beaten 2-0 by Liverpool at the weekend, but hasn’t been a regular starter since recovering from a back injury late last year. Although, with the influential Jonjo Shelvey out for at least two weeks, the Spaniard could be set for a run in Benitez’s side.
Indeed, with a lack of match fitness being the downfall in the second half of Saturday’s game against Liverpool, the 21-year-old is hoping that he can rediscover his early-season form with an extended run in the side.
“I felt tired out there,”
“When you’re not playing regularly, that’s normal, because minutes on the pitch give you energy.
“I feel good. Of course, it’s not easy when you are defending all the game, but I worked hard and tried to do what the coach wanted.
“Jonjo Shelvey may be missing again, so I have to be ready for that too.
“I need to take advantage of an opportunity I get. I have recovered from my back injury, I have had other problems too, but I now feel fit. I’m training with high intensity and ready when the coach needs me.”
The fitness update provided by Merino is a huge boost for Newcastle United after losing Jonjo Shelvey, as the former Borussia Dortmund man now has the opportunity to showcase his talents on a regular basis. Indeed, this could be crucial come the end of the season, as the Spaniard has already been one of the standout performers for the Magpies so far this season.
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