Dennis Knight

By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter

Dennis Knight was next in line to take a penalty in the FA Youth Cup quarter-final - but didn't get a chance as Newcastle crashed out on spot-kicks to Blackburn.

The gifted midfielder was number four on Dave Watson's list, but Ben Sayer, JJ Hooper and Michael Hoganson all missed and Rovers scored each of their three spot-kicks to take them through to the last four.

It was hard to take for the ex-Walbottle Campus Technology College pupil after an enthralling match which finished 2-2 after 90 minutes and stayed that way despite extra time.

And he gave an insight into the mood of the stunned home dressing room when he spoke exclusively to nufc.co.uk.

"There's not much talking, to be fair," he said. "Everyone's down, and we're just trying to pick everyone up. There's a few lads who are really upset - but we need to get everyone back together and concentrate on the league.

"Ben Sayer is absolutely gutted. He just can't seem to get himself around it. But hopefully we'll get everyone back together and pick it up from there.

"It wasn't the best game we've played - we're much better than what we showed - but we got the two goals. We knew we'd score but we conceded two sloppy goals and then penalties is just a horrible way to end a game.

"I was fourth. I wanted to first but when we were asking for volunteers, everyone was shouting 'one' and 'two' and I trusted them and let them go.

"But it just wasn't to be. It wasn't our night tonight."

By the time extra time came around - even before penalties - several players were clearly tired and some, including Knight, were struggling with cramp.

"There are a few lads who get it regularly, like me," he explained. "I don't know what it is; I've tried working on it with my diet and stuff like that but maybe it's just the pitch - it's so big. It could be the tension, I don't know, but hopefully it's something I can work on."

Alan Pardew, John Carver, Steve Stone and Andy Woodman were among a crowd of 2,026 and Knight paid tribute to the die-hard supporters who came along.

"It was absolutely tremendous," he said. "The fans were brilliant - they always are at the Sports Direct Arena.

"After the game, I was down after the penalties and I could hear the fans. That made me happier, so thanks to the fans and we're gutted we couldn't get through for them."