Siem De Jong, Jamaal Lascelles and Massadio Haidara were starters for the U21 side tonight at St. James Park to keep their match fitness up, but it was one of our 18 year-olds – Callum Roberts – who was the star of the show tonight
and scored two goals in the last 12 minutes (78 mins and 85 mins) to give us a 2-0 win over Aston Villa.
Callum Roberts – starred in front of a watching Steve McClaren tonight
And 19 year-old striker Ivan Toney had another impressive game and although he failed to score he did set up both goals for Callum late in the game and that brings him to three assists and five goals in his eight U21 games this season – not too bad at all.
He’s already pushing for a first team place at Newcastle with these impressive performances.
Steve McClaren was at the game to judge the form of some of our fringe players, but we also had Sadio Haidara get injured after 33 minutes from a strong Jordan Lyden tackle and he had to come off with a groin injury.
And in the second half Kevin Mbabu went off injured with what looked like a shoulder injury – so we’ll have to wait to see the injury prognosis on both Haidara and Mbabu.
There is a two-week International break after Saturday’s game at Bournemouth (not another one) so there will be some time to recover before the heavy holiday season of games.
Callum Roberts was the star tonight along with Ivan Toney and senior players like Siem de Jong and Jamaal Lascelles got a full game workout.
This is what Peter Beardsley said after the game:
“They were football goals, and that’s what pleases me. There wasn’t a lot of great football within the game but eventually we started passing the ball and when we did, we looked like we were going to score goals.
“Ivan Toney’s done brilliantly for two tap-ins for Callum. It was the right thing to do; a lot of people shoot in those positions and end up doing the wrong thing.
“I don’t know if it was because Siem de Jong, who’s got that type of intelligence, was on the pitch, but Ivan is that type of character and he’s been excellent since he arrived.”
“Lascelles trained with us for the first time yesterday and he’s been outstanding in everything. He was incredible, I have to say, and I’m really pleased for him because he seems a good lad anyway around the place.
“But you don’t know until you work with them, and because he’s with the first team I don’t usually work with him. But I’ve seen him yesterday and I’ve seen him today, and it looks like we might have a good player for the future.”
“Medically, I’m not an expert so I don’t know how Haidara is, but the medical staff will check it tomorrow,” “He said it wasn’t too bad but when they check it tomorrow, they’ll have a better idea.”
On this showing, Ivan Toney and maybe Callum Roberts will be pushing for a place on the bench at Bournemouth on Saturday.
We do have some good youngsters coming through and we won’t even mention Adam Armstrong who’s having a great season on loan at Coventry City and already he’s scored 10 goals in 13 appearances and is top of the League One goalscoring charts.
Here are the teams tonight:
Newcastle U21: Woodman, Mbabu (Ward 57), Lascelles, Satka (Callum Williams 46), Haidara (Gibson 33), Roberts, Barlaser, Smith, Sterry, De Jong, Roberts.
Aston Villa U21: Sarkic, Leggett, Kinsella, Gardner, Okore, Mason, Blackett-Taylor, Lyden, Hepburn-Murphy, Sellars, Green
Ref: Billy Khatib