Gayle's Mental Battle
Like part of the back end of last season, it seems that Dwight Gayle still has injury concerns.
Back then, Gayle went absent with an injury not long after Christmas before he had a few mental concerns over breaking down again and missed the majority of the rest of the championship winning campaign.
He missed yesterday's friendly win over Verona at St James' Park and with that it sparked concerns that we'd be dangerously light in attack for the opener of the premier league season against Spurs.
Rafa Benitez talked about it in the after match press conference by giving a positive update on Gayle's chances of being fit for Spurs by saying:
Dwight is training with the fitness coach, so hopefully he can carry on training this week. If everything is fine, I think he will be Okay for Sunday.
He needs the confidence to know he can sprint and do everything as he was doing before. It`s a question of confidence, so we will carry on pushing him in training and hopefully we can get back the confidence.
Rafa also said it wasn't the same problem that kept him out at length last season by continuing:
It`s not his hamstring, it`s more the feeling that he has. He`s not comfortable and we don`t want to take any risks.
The concerns over Gayle just intensify the need for at least one more striker to come in with Daryl Murphy already shipped out and only Aleksandar Mitrovic here as back up.
The next five days will be crucial for the script of the season ahead.