Earlier this week, Newcastle’s Under-23 boss Neil Redfearn spoke out about Elias Sorensen’s loan spell to Carlisle United. The comments came on the heels of the 20-year-old striker making just one substitute appearance in the League for Carlisle over the past five games.
This is what Redfearn had to say:
“It’s a difficult one. I know I have said on the record in the past that he needs to fight it out, but obviously the idea of him going out on loan is that he plays.
“So if he’s on the bench and not coming on, it’s not what we want, it’s not what we need.
“The reports that we are getting back are that he’s working really hard and desperately trying to do the right things to get in so we are getting that, but there is no getting away from the fact he needs to play.”
These comments by Redfearn were very reasonable. While Elias may be getting some benefit from his loan spell, ultimately he is there to play football. Getting a substitute appearance every other week is just not going to provide the 20-year-old with the experience he needs.
Pressley and Sorensen– where did it all go wrong?
Carlisle manager Steven Pressley has been under pressure lately as they are in 20th position in League 2 with just 1 point from their last five matches. This is part of the issue with why Elias has not been getting into games.
Pressley is trying to keep Carlisle in league football and also trying to keep his job. He’s going for experience on the pitch and that is one thing Sorensen cannot provide at the moment.
Speaking to the Carlisle United official website, Pressley sympathized with Redfearn’s frustrations on Elias:
“I think Neil is right to say that. If I was Newcastle United and I was Neil Redfearn, then my concern would be for the development of my young player who is out on loan, and if he’s not getting game time then fully understandably I’d be thinking that the situation would need to be reviewed.
“That would be the same for any young player who goes out on loan over a period of time and who doesn’t play on a regular basis. Newcastle’s concern has to be the development of their players but, what I must stress, is that our concern has to be the development and progress of our own team.”
Pressley and Carlisle have survival issues to contend with at the moment. They hover just one point above the relegation zone. Pressley alluded in these comments to being more concerned with his overall team right now than the development of a youngster on loan.
While that is understandable, Newcastle have to be concerned with the progress of Sorensen. We sent him to Carlisle to play first-team football. While that also involves learning what it takes to be a professional, the most essential aspect of a loan spell is getting time on the pitch.
Pressley went on in this manner and stressed that both clubs have different interests that they must contend with:
“When it comes to the game time, there’s an argument there that he hasn’t been given a clear run of games to prove himself, and I understand that. However, when you’re in the situation that we’re in and you’re looking for results, then we always pick the side that we think can win us the game.
“Unfortunately Elias hasn’t been in that side and he’s obviously disappointed with that. He hasn’t shown that, and I will say that about the kid. I spoke to him a number of times early on and he’s gone about things in a great way, and credit to him for that.
“Again, I have to say that Newcastle know what we’re trying to do with him. Shola [Ameobi] worked with me at Fleetwood and the reason he was keen for Elias to come here was because he knows how hard I work with young players, and how much I want to help them develop, so that isn’t the issue for Newcastle.
“They understand that we work closely with Elias and other players, and they haven’t got a problem with that. They have a problem with his game time and I accept that. I’ll repeat again, if I was Newcastle loaning a player to Carlisle I would want more game time than he’s getting, so I have no issues with the noise that’s coming out of Newcastle about this.
“They have to look after the best interests of their own young player, but I have to look after the best interests of our football club.”
We understand the stance of both clubs. Newcastle sent the youngster on loan in the hopes that he would be playing week in and week out. That has not happened so far and is not a situation that can continue for much longer.
We also understand that Carlisle are going through a difficult stretch at the moment. The manager must pick the side he believes will get them the results they need to survive.
However, the manager has not gotten the results with the more experienced players he has selected thus far. He finds himself in hot water, so to speak, with many Carlisle fans wanting him out.
Though, it is ultimately Newcastle’s responsibility to do what is best for Elias Sorensen. If he is not playing at Carlisle and that is not remedied soon, then it’s time to bring the lad back home.
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