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Boss still in dark over January budget

13 January 2018

However, manager Rafael Benitez will still be without striker Aleksandar Mitrovic (back), who is closing in on a return, and defenders Florian Lejeune (foot) and Jesus Gamez (ankle).

But he does know the importance of keeping hold of those charged with the task of keeping the club in the Premier League.

Swansea have doubts over Tammy Abraham (hip) and Renato Sanches (hamstring) for the trip to the north east.

Speaking last month, Benitez said: "I have confidence that Mike Ashley will deliver what we need to stay in the Premier League before January 20, to be sure that we have time to work with the new players".

Progress on incoming signings remains painfully slow, with a loan deal for Chelsea midfielder Kenedy now the brightest prospect, and in the meantime the manager is concentrating only on Saturday's home clash with Swansea and the task of easing the club further clear of the drop zone.

I have to concentrate on games and Saturday is an important game for us.

Benitez said: "I have heard people talking about our players, but we do not have any offers". They look quite organised, disciplined in defence and hard to breakdown.

The Magpies have earned successive Premier League victories against Swansea, having won just one of their first nine against them in the competition. But if they talk about loans we are not interested because we need them.

"We have to approach this game with the same mentality as the last few games".

The Magpies have earned 20 of their 22 points this season against sides now below them in the table. Sat bottom of the Premier League table, Swansea are now four points adrift of safety and also hold the second worst goal difference in the league.

Carlos Carvalhal won all three of his matches as Sheffield Wednesday manager against Newcastle.

Probability of away win: 21%.

Boss still in dark over January budget