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Newcastle United caretaker boss says it is ‘really exciting’ to be in charge of the first team

1 year ago
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As Newcastle United lurch towards what looks to be a disaster in waiting this coming season, you can only feel sorry for those left dealing with the mess created by Mike Ashley and his minions.

Less than four weeks until the season starts and with no manager or senior coaching staff, key players having left, no new signings, it is looking like the most far-fetched instalment of mission impossible that has ever been dreamt up.

Newcastle United have this trip to China to navigate first of all, with Ben Dawson (NUFC Academy head of coaching) and under-23s head coach Neil Redfearn overseeing the Premier League Asia Trophy, as well as the rest of Newcastle’s pre-season so far.

It really is a thankless task for the pair and you have to feel for them.

It is Wolves on Wednesday and then either Man City or West Ham on Saturday, Dawson and Redfearn left with a thrown together squad largely made up of kids and players who should have been leaving this Summer.

Doing the media stuff has also been thrust on the Newcastle United caretaker bosses and whilst Ben Dawson claims it is a great opportunity, you wonder how he will feel after these two games this week, against clubs that are full of ambition and doing everything they can to push forward, whilst Mike Ashley is sinking NUFC as fast as he can.

Ben Dawson says: ‘I’m feeling really fortunate that the club have trusted myself and Neil (Redfearn) to look after things until a new manager comes in.’

No disrespect to them but who else was there left after what Mike Ashley has done this Summer – the kitman and tea lady?

You can only wonder at the state of things at the Academy as well, with Dawson and Redfearn having to cover the gaps left by Rafa Benitez and all of his senior coaching staff, who is there left to look after the reserves and under 18s?

These are only friendlies but if the pair can navigate these two games in China without major embarrassment, it will be an achievement.

With the Paraguayan not on the trip it means that rather than Almiron, Rondon and Perez who impressed so much earlier this year, the NUFC caretakers instead have Muto, Gayle and Sorensen as their striking options this week…

Ben Dawson speaking to the club site:

“It’s really exciting to be in China for the Premier League Asia Trophy since we’ve been asked to come in and look after the squad at this moment in time.

“Everybody has been looking forward to it and working hard.

“The staff have put a good plan in place and we are looking forward to two competitive games to get the pre-season schedule up and running.

“I’m feeling really fortunate that the club have trusted myself and Neil (Redfearn) to look after things until a new manager comes in. Personally, it’s a great opportunity.

“The staff have been terrific with the plan they already had in place and our job is to come in and give it a bit of a football element and try to prepare the lads as best as possible.

“It’s a great opportunity for the players to show their appreciation for the fanbase out here.

“It will be a different culture that they are going to experience. We have already have seen some of them at the hotel to greet us and I’m sure they will all make the most of it.

“They (Wolves) are Premier League opposition so I’m expecting, with it being a competitive fixture, it’ll have a bit more edge than the usual friendlies do at this stage.

“They will be on a real high from the momentum they gained from the end of last season. They are looking forward to Europa League fixtures also so I expect it will be a really tough game in difficult conditions.

“The lads are chomping at the bit to get back on the pitch and get back to their day jobs.”

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