Peter Beardsley has once again claimed that the Newcastle United reserves ‘deserved to win’.
The reserves (Under 21s) were in action away at Brighton on Wednesday night and emerged with a draw after Callum Roberts’ seventh goal of the season, equalising a 15th minute effort from the home team.
On his return from injury, Ivan Toney played the first half before making way for Mackenzie Heaney.
The NUFC Under 21s have now won only four matches all season from the 20 played but after most games Peter Beardsley appears to trot out the same line about his team having been unlucky and not getting what the deserved.
A similar case with Dave Watson who looks after the Under 18s, they have won only six of their 26 matches this season (now in over three months) and yet Watson also repeatedly talks of hard luck stories.
Peter Beardsley felt that last night his team had done especially well because apart from Ivan Toney they were all younger players.
However, even if Newcastle do have players who are appearing above their usual age group, you have to wonder just what use getting beat on such a regular basis does for their progression, both as a group and individually.
This week saw a lot of publicity given to Rafa Benitez visiting the Academy set-up and having a good look at the facilities and the people in charge.
If (when!) he stays on at Newcastle United after this season, one of the many areas where it will be interesting to see what the experienced does, will be in terms of the whole club set-up before first team level and the people who operate there.
For some time now it has looked just as shambolic as the more visible first team circus and it would be great to think that a respected and successful Manager such as Rafa Benitez will want to, and be given the opportunity, to sort Newcastle United from top to bottom.
Peter Beardsley speaking to the official club website:
“We deserved to win. I know they had a couple of chances and we made a couple of good saves, but overall I think there was only one team looking to win, so in that sense it was great point for us.
“In terms of the way we played, bearing in mind that, in the second half once Ivan Toney came off, there was only Callum Roberts who wasn’t an under-18, so it was brilliant for them. We played some good football and tried to do the right things, which is what we encourage them to do.
“I would say, in the main, that group of players had never played together. Sean Longstaff’s been with us most of the season, Callum Smith has too, but Luke Charman had never played for us competitively before, so it was a bit mix and match.
“There were a lot of positives, and that’s what this job’s about. Tonight was a positive, and we played really well.
“It was back to what we expect, without putting pressure on him. He played well all night and scored a great goal.
“It was good passing and movement, and when he cut back you’re probably thinking on the bench that he should’ve shot early. We’ve been talking to him recently about having a bit more composure rather than blasting the ball when he doesn’t need to and, to be fair, he took it really well.”
Brighton Under 21s 1 Newcastle United Under 21s 1
Newcastle United: Harker, Spooner, Kitchen, Ward (Hunter 60), Bailey, Adu-Peprah, Roberts, Longstaff, Charman, Smith (Gallacher 60), Toney (Heaney 46),