Sunday 22 September 2019

Newcastle boss Steve McClaren: Moussa Sissoko fine to face Foxes

Steve McClaren insists Moussa Sissoko, pictured, is in the right frame of mind to face Leicester
Steve McClaren insists Moussa Sissoko, pictured, is in the right frame of mind to face Leicester

Newcastle manager Steve McClaren insists Moussa Sissoko is in the "right frame of mind" to play against Leicester on Saturday despite the recent terror attacks in France.

Sissoko was on the bench in France's 2-0 win over Germany which was overshadowed by the deadly events in Paris last Friday.

The French national anthem will be observed ahead of each Barclays Premier League match this weekend in tribute to the 130 people who were killed while players will also wear black armbands.

But McClaren believes Sissoko, despite being shaken by the events, is ready to play.

"Moussa has been fine and he's in the right frame of mind to play," insisted McClaren ahead of their clash match against the high-flying Foxes at St James' Park.

"It shook him, but we've spoken to him and consulted him on what's happening tomorrow."

Sissoko, who featured as a late substitute for Les Bleus against England in midweek, is one of seven French players in Newcastle's squad, and McClaren revealed they are helping each other come to terms with the traumatic attacks on their country.

"They're dealing with it amongst themselves," said McClaren. "They come together and share a lot of things together as they have shared the grief over what happened last weekend.

"It's a case of showing solidarity and hopefully the game will honour those who died in Paris. What happened over the weekend is unique and should bring everybody together because it's a world issue."

Newcastle will be looking to secure their first back-to-back victories in almost a year after their 1-0 win at Bournemouth ahead of the international break.

They face a Leicester side who are third in the table and a striker in Jamie Vardy who could match Ruud van Nistelrooy's record of scoring in 10 consecutive Premier League games.

But Vardy, who missed both of England's friendly matches against Spain and France with a hip injury, is a doubt for Leicester's trip to the north east.

And asked if he would be happy if Vardy fails to play, McClaren replied: "Absolutely, and we'll be honest about that.

"We have to be prepared for him to play but if he doesn't we know that Leicester have got some very good players in addition to Vardy.

"He's a player I came across when I was at Derby. To come through from non-league, to keep the belief and keep going like he has shows that it can be done. I t shows what you can achieve if you never give up, never stop trying and never stop believing.

"With the right breaks you can make it, and he's a perfect example of that."

PA Media

The Left Wing: Ireland's fullback dilemma, World Cup bonding and the squad standby list

Also in Sport