Whilst it has been a season-long struggle for the NUFC Under 18s, there are definitely signs of life and improvement with the Newcastle United under 23s.
A season of improvement and achievement, best summed up by 20 year old captain Owen Bailey.
The young Geordie defender has shown real leadership and ability in helping the team to success in both league and cup.
The Newcastle United Under 23s are set to face Leeds United in the semis of the Premier League Cup.
Whilst Monday saw real character in a dramatic fightback to ensure Newcastle United are now in the play-off for promotion to the top tier of the reserve set-up.
Rafa Benitez is desperate to raise the quality at all levels and provide a route for players to progress eventually to the first team.
The first half last night saw Stoke score twice and Owen Bailey miss a penalty.
However, the Newcastle United Under 23s captain picked himself and his team up, winning the game 3-2 and Owen Bailey scoring two of the goals including the winner, Yannick Toure got the other.
Owen Bailey talking to the club’s official site:
“It was a ridiculous game and it sums up what football is all about.
“At half-time, I’ve probably never been as low for a long time. The lads were the same as we weren’t playing our normal stuff.
“Missing a penalty affected me and we were a bit lost after going two goals down at half-time. The way the lads have responded in the second half was unbelievable. It’s a massive result. Promotion has been something that we’ve been aspiring to have for the last few seasons and a win to secure a play-off spot is a massive step towards that. Hopefully, we can continue that and try to go up.
“All we can do is concentrate on ourselves. It isn’t in our hands anymore so all we can do is try to win our remaining games and see where that will take us. We have to rely on other results going in our favour but hopefully they can go in our way.
“After missing the penalty and going behind by two goals, we have shown great character and resilience to get the win after it looked like we were out of the game.
“The management said at half-time to try and respond and make sure the players help me out after I missed the penalty. All the lads did that and I can’t thank them enough for their brilliant reaction. It shows what great character we’ve got in the team.
“I’ve signalled to Matty (Longstaff) to put one towards the back post and, after he was another great ball. I’ve managed to peel away from the defender and head it across goal but, luckily, it’s got straight into the goal and it’s helped to get us a result we wanted.
“I can’t remember much after scoring my second. All the lads were jumping on top of me and were buzzing but it was a great feeling for everyone involved.
“We have two games left (against Manchester United and Middlesbrough) in the league along with the semi-final of the Premier League Cup (against Leeds). The momentum from this win is massive and hopefully we can use that and kick on to get some positive results and get something good out of the season.”
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