Newcastle have a whole host of players set to return against Wolves on Saturday, and one who must start is Paul Dummett.
The defender has been missing since the 1-0 win against Crystal Palace, limping off in the 93rd minute with a groin injury. On that day he played as a left wing-back, but it’s centre-back where he’s needed against Wolves.
Over the Christmas period, Florian Lejeune operated as the left centre-back. But after a strong return, fatigue quickly began to get the better of him, and it was his two errors against Leicester that put the Foxes in a commanding position on New Year’s Day.
The French defender sat out the FA Cup draw with Rochdale, and should remain on the bench against Wolves. After some poor performances, Lejeune needs to be eased back into things more carefully, and will likely start the cup replay on Tuesday night.
But on Saturday, Dummett must take his place in the XI. The academy graduate had been playing well up until the injury, with his usual no nonsense approach playing a big part in the win against Sheffield United.
In recent weeks, Newcastle have lost their edge at the back. All season we’d been pretty solid, but that went to pot over Christmas.
We need to get back to our best defensively, and to do that we need players who are organised and will put their body on the line. That’s exactly what Dummett does every time he wears the black and white stripes.
We’ll need to be strong at the back to get anything against Wolves, and starting Dummett will certainly boost our chances.