He might not be quite getting a tune out of his first team so far but encouraging signs that Rafa Benitez appears to have exerted a positive influence over the lower levels at Newcastle United.

Saturday saw Newcastle Under 18s post an impressive 1-0 win against Everton in their opening match, Thomas Allen scoring a late winner. The scousers have given United some real hammerings in recent times, so maybe a sign of better to come.

Likewise, Newcastle have started the reserve fixtures with a positive result on Monday afternoon, the second string set-up changing from fielding Under 21 teams to Under 23s, Newcastle once again in the second division of the reserve leagues.

United travelled to Norwich today and recorded a three goal victory, courtesy of forgotten men Gael Bigirimana and Haris Vuckic, two players desperate for a new club.

Haris Vuckic opened the scoring after half an hour, then Newcastle doubled their lead 10 minutes into the second period with a penalty from midfielder Gael Bigirimana, with 20 minutes remaining Vuckic made it two for himself and three for United on the day.

Haris Vuckic turns 24 in six days time and Gael Bigirimana 23 in October.

No doubt somebody somewhere will be suggesting getting the pair in the first team on Wednesday night…but more realistically let’s hope that decent performances today, might encourage watching scouts from lower clubs to take them off Newcastle’s hands and give them regular football.

Norwich City 0 Newcastle United 3

Newcastle United Under 23s: Woodman, Newberry, Cameron, Findlay, Gibson, Barlaser, Bigirimana, Gilliead, Longstaff, Vuckic, Heardman