Steven Logan

By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter

Steven Logan revealed how a pre-match pep talk from Alan Pardew inspired United's youngsters to reach the quarter-finals of the FA Youth Cup with an extra-time victory over Queens Park Rangers.

First-team chief Pardew went into the home dressing room at the Sports Direct Arena to offer the youngsters some words of encouragement ahead of the match, while his backroom staff of John Carver, Steve Stone and Andy Woodman were all in the stand.

JJ Hooper's extra-time header gave Dave Watson's team the win against a dogged QPR, who took a shock lead through Ben Brown, and Scottish youth international Logan admitted that Pardew's words of encouragement gave the Toon teenagers a big lift.

"He came in and wished us luck, and it's excellent for the manager to do that," said the 17-year-old, who hails from Carlisle and is a boyhood Newcastle supporter.

"It's great for us to know that he's showing an interest in us.

"He came to watch the game today and hopefully he was impressed with us. It would be great if some of us can step up into the Reserves and maybe the first-team."

Logan is one of several Academy players to have been involved with the second-string this season and although most at home in midfield, he's capable of playing in several positions.

On Thursday night, he came in at right-back for injury victim Alex Nicholson and was pleased to start for the first time in this season's Youth Cup run.

"It was a shame for Alex, because he picked up the knock early on in the week, but I was glad to step in and help out the team," he said.

"I see myself as a central midfielder but I'm happy to fill in at any position, really. When JJ (Hooper) got injured early on in the season, I even filled in up-front.

"It can be helpful to be able to play in a few positions, but it can also be a negative thing as well. Ideally, I want to get settled in a position and concentrate on building from there."

Logan felt United deserved to go through to a last-eight date at home to Blackburn - despite the heroics of visiting keeper Gareth Deane, who made a string of saves which looked set to frustrate the Magpies until Adam Campbell forced extra-time with a late penalty.

"We dominated a lot of it," he said. "We had a lot of chances and the keeper did fantastically for them. He kept them in the game, we hit the post, hit the bar, but we won in the end and that was great for us.

"We felt it was coming. It came a bit late in the end, but thankfully it did come and we got through to the next round. 

"A home tie is good for us. Blackburn are supposed to be a really big, physical side, but hopefully we can get another result against them and get through to the semis."