Steve McClaren has admitted that before Kevin Mbabu came on the in the second half of the League Cup game against Sheffield Wednesday he was nowhere near the first team at Newcastle and the plan was for him to be sent out on loan to get first team experience.
Kevin Mbabu – in action against Chelsea
But then Daryl Janmaat fell sick during the game and had to be replaced at half-time and on came the 20 year-old for his first ever chance in the first team – and he took it.
This is how Steve McClaren explained exactly what happened yesterday:
“He was nowhere near the first team and we were looking to loan him out.”
“But the decision was made for us when Daryl Janmaat came off against Sheffield Wednesday and he was the only defender we had on the bench.”
“He could play right back so I threw him on and he did well enough in that game and showed the right mentality for me to put him in on the left against Chelsea.”
“He has given everyone a lift, not just the first team and crowd but also the academy and U-21s.”
The youngsters are always told that when they get their chance they have to take it so after playing well in place of Daryl in that second half he got his big chance against Chelsea.
But it was at left back on the other side with Sadio Haidara and Paul Dummett both injured and Kevin had the proverbial stormer against top opposition.
He was our Man of the Match and he is expected to keep his place against another top side today at Manchester City.
Because of the way Newcastle seem to have stumbled on a young star in their midst – maybe Steve and the coaching staff should be looking at other top youngsters at the club.
Two we know of are out on loan at the moment and doing very well – 18 year-od goalkeeper Freddie Woodman and 18 year-old local striker Adam Armstrong.
The coaching staff should probably start attending the Newcastle U21 games more regularly.
Let’s hope Kevin has another good game today.