Peter Beardsley has given a great reference to one of the young players recently drafted into the Newcastle United first team squad.

Liam Gibson is only 18 but Beardsley thinks that the only thing he might be lacking is confidence.

The Under 21s coach says that the young left back is strong, physical and ‘can run’, plus he has ‘a lovely left foot’.

Left-back has been an ongoing problem for Newcastle ever since Jose Enrique left for Liverpool, although Davide Santon at times looked the part in an up and down career at St James Park.

With neither Paul Dummett or Massadio Haidara convincing as Premier League class defenders, it would be an ideal scenario if somebody like Liam Gibson (a local lad from Stanley) could come through and make the position his own.

The 18 year old played on Saturday against Lillestrom and did well, though it is surely too much to ask him to be thrown head first into the relegation struggle next Wednesday at Stoke.

Jack Colback is looking favourite to play there in the almost certain absence of Dummett and Haidara, with surely even Steve McClaren not contemplating continuing with the disastrous decision to play Rolando Aarons there.

Peter Beardsley talking to the official club website:

“He (Liam Gibson) is a great kid. He has got a lovely left foot – he is strong, physical, can run and he also has a good understanding of the game.

“The only thing he is maybe lacking is confidence.

“I don’t think he realises what he has, because he has a lot of strengths and a lot of positives, I just wish sometimes he would believe in himself a bit more – he has certainly got the talent.

“What was good for him was he had to sing in front of (a ritual for young players, standing on a chair and singing for the first team squad & coaches) at Chelsea.

“Apparently he sang really well and fair play to him – I didn’t think he’d be able to get through that – having got through that, he should be able to get through most things.

“The first team players are always very welcoming in terms of taking them under their wing, encouraging them and helping them – Colo is very good in that sense. They all come back having had a great experience and that is what it is all about.”