Newcastle United boss Sam Allardyce has challenged Paul Huntington and Peter Ramage to keep their places in the first team next season.
But they first have to get into the side first as Sam still wants at least three additional defenders to shore up his squad.
Sam also talked about the impressive debut of bargain buy David Rozenthal â€“ the 6’3â€ Czech International.
Peter Ramage and Paul Huntington
Allardyce said last night:
“I have no problem with Ramage and Huntington – they had massive parts to play here last season.“They were in the team last year and gained some valuable experience.
“I would expect that would improve them for this season.
“They should make the team better and make themselves better because of their experience.
“The challenge for them this season is to get in the team.
“I need to improve my defensive line. Everyone is talking about defenders, but I want those two to say â€œHey gaffer, once I get in the side, you won’t be able to get me out’.
“That will be a very good competition, if I can build it like that.
“I have got that on the front line, but I think we are still light of three or four players.”
The game saw an impressive debut for center-back David Rozehnal. The Czech international, a Â£2.9M signing (that’s cheap) from Paris Saint-Germain, looked good and Allardyce is sure he will get up to speed with English football quickly.
After the game Sam said:
“David looked very comfortable on the ball and as time ticks on and the competition becomes stiffer, he will get more of a test.“
“David is going to be fine. He is an intelligent man and a really dedicated professional.”
“If he learns as quickly as he needs to, he will be okay.”
“We have seen he is a talented footballer as well as a good defender.”
Seems like David is a very good professional and if he can quickly get to grips with the rigours of the Premiership he can be an important player for us next season.
This is the team played last night – at Victoria Park – with substitutes in parenthesis for the second half.
Newcastle United: Given (Harper), Carr (Lough), Rozehnal (Solano), Barton (Lua Lua), Martins (Owen), Nâ€™Zogbia (Bertram), Ramage (Francis), Carroll (Ameobi), Dyer (Pattison), Butt (Triosi), Huntington.
Referee: C Oliver
It’s good to see all the players getting a run out â€“ and it just goes to show the excellent youngsters we have in the squad with players such as Kazenga Lua Lua, Andrew Carroll, Darren Lough. Matty Pattison. Mark Bertram, Alex Francis, David Triosi and Paul Huntington getting a game.
Lua Lua. Carroll, Lough, Bertram and Francis all played for our successful youth team last year. If some of these youngsters can come through next season then it will really help the squad as far as competition for places goes. While Sam wants to rely on experienced players – we trust the youngsters will still be given their chance – when it’s appropriate. We have always believed in a strong youth policy at Newcastle – it can save us millions in the long haul.
Seems like Viduka, Geremi, Edgar, Taylor, Babayaro, EmreÂ and Krul were the players missing from last night’s game. There’s some talent there as well.