By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Club Reporter
Captain Michael Richardson has vowed that Newcastle United Reserves will bounce back bigger and stronger from their first defeat of the season.
On Wednesday night, the Magpies' second-string went down 3-0 away at local rivals Sunderland in the Barclays Premier Reserve League following a hat-trick from Ryan Noble.
It was a youthful-looking Reserve side, with four Academy players in the starting line-up and a further five making up the substitutes' bench, but Richardson - who at 19-years-old was almost a veteran of the side - believes the loss will prove to be a valuable experience for all involved.
The midfielder told nufc.co.uk: "It's never nice to lose when you come here to Sunderland. You always want to beat them with it being a derby game, but we will bounce back.
"We will look at the video, see what went wrong and we will improve from this.
"It was a very young team tonight, so there is a lot for us to learn from. Sunderland had a lot more experience than us, we knew that, but the all of us will come back stronger for this set-back.
"We've got a couple of lads out on loan and a few on international duty so it maybe wasn't the normal bunch of Reserve players for us, but it was good for the young ones to come in.
"It's great experience for them, not only to play for the Reserves but also in a stadium like that (Stadium of Light). For us older ones, we had to help them through the game, talk to them, and that was different for us too. We are learning just as much as them.
"You always want to be learning from matches, so win, lose or draw it was good for us to come out here with a young team and we will learn a lot from it."
A healthy turn-out at the Stadium of Light, including a few hundred Newcastle supporters, created a lively and vocal atmosphere for the teams to turn out in front of.
And Richardson paid tribute to the fans who came out to watch the second-string.
"It was an amazing turn out for them and for us - a brilliant crowd. And it boosts the players to play in front of something like that," he said.
"When the reserve games are behind closed doors the fans don't get to see and the atmosphere isn't great, but that was unbelievable tonight."