Benítez: "Everyone is fine and ready"

 

21/09/2018nufc.co.uk

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Long-term absentee Florian Lejeune is the only player ruled out of the Magpies' first trip to London this season, with Jamaal Lascelles and Jonjo Shelvey both available. Skipper Lascelles was forced off the pitch midway through last week's defeat to Arsenal at St. James' Park, while Shelvey was only fit enough for the substitutes' bench.

But, the Magpies' boss confirmed that he will have both players at his disposal on Saturday – a timely boost as his side go looking for their first Premier League win of the campaign.

"To be fair, we are looking quite good. We have just Lejeune – a long-term injury. The other players have been training and all of them are available," he said. "Shelvey was training (before last week's game) and we knew he was injured, but he is so positive and wants to play every game. We had to be careful because if we put him on the pitch, he could be fine, but maybe he (picks up another injury) and it could be worse for us for the rest of the season. Now, he has been training, so – as I said before – everyone is fine and ready.

"(Lascelles) was complaining about his ankle (last Saturday) and he missed a couple of training sessions. But, he has been training the last few days and he is fine."

United's first five games – which included clashes against four of last season's top six – yielded just a single point, meaning they sit second from bottom of the Premier League ahead of the weekend.

Though Benítez warned that things are unlikely to get particularly easier against Roy Hodgson's Eagles, he spoke of a confidence inside the Magpies' camp that a first three-point haul of the campaign is not far away.

"I think every game is an opportunity to get three points, but obviously the first few games were quite difficult on paper," he said. "I think we did quite well in some of those games. Now, on paper, people might say 'these games are easier,' but that is not the case for us and in the Premier League. Every single team for us is a challenge and playing against Crystal Palace will be difficult for us, but we still have confidence that we can get three points."

"It is very clear that with the way we work and the way we train every day, the players have confidence we can start winning right now. The confidence is high, the team is mentally ready, and hopefully we can see that on Saturday."