Dwight Gayle’s second hamstring injury of the season obviously served as a blow for everyone connected with Newcastle United as they enter a crucial period of what is hopefully a fleeting stay in the Championship. Such is the nature of his importance to those in black and white, the 26-year-old’s absence for crunch games against Brighton, Huddersfield and Reading will likely spread fear amongst the Toon Army.
But should it?
As the image below will show you, the Magpies have a pretty strong record this season when playing without the former Crystal Palace marksman. In fact, they’ve already beaten the Seagulls this term without him in the line up, along with registering another six wins along the way.
Newcastle without Dwight Gayle in the league this season:
— Read Newcastle (@ReadNewcastle) February 22, 2017
Though his goals have been a major part of their strong campaign thus far, his absence has by no means ridded the side of a cutting edge. In fact, they’ve only drawn one of the games he’s missed and have lost NONE of them.
Aleksandar Mitrovic, Daryl Murphy, Ayoze Perez and Yoan Gouffran can all operate in the central striking berths, so it’s not as if Rafa is short of options.