Dave Watson

By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter

Dave Watson saw his Newcastle under-18s side move to within one win of the Premier Academy League Group D title with a 3-2 win over Liverpool - then challenged his young team to finish the season on a high.

Brandon Miele's 89th minute goal on Saturday means United will be the champions if they beat Barnsley on Tuesday, despite second-placed Leeds' 1-0 win at Everton.

But the club's Under-18s Coach, who arrived on Tyneside last October from Wigan, is keen to win both of their two remaining matches and ensure that the Magpies not only get their hands on the trophy but go into the national play-offs on a high.

"All we can do is do our job," the ex-England international told nufc.co.uk. "We've got two games to go, against Barnsley and Middlesbrough, and if we win those games, we'll win the league. That's what we're aiming to do."

United came from behind to beat the Reds in an exciting game at Little Benton on Saturday and Watson said: "It was a very good Liverpool side and we knew that before the game, but we've got great faith in ourselves and we showed tremendous character to win today.

"We know we've got goals in the team and even though we were a goal down at half-time to a penalty, we always believe we can win games. I let the lads know that at half-time, that we were going to create more chances and we would get a goal.

"And once you get a goal, the momentum changes in the game. We proved that today and we could have gone on and scored a few more.

"We had a few hairy moments towards the end where Jonny Mitchell's made one or two great saves but overall I thought we deserved to win the game on the amount of chances we created.

"I think possession-wise, they did shade the first half but having said that if you look at the chances created in the first half, we possibly had the better chances to score goals. So from that point of view, you can have possession as long as you're not scoring goals.

"We frustrated them, we got men behind the ball, but when we broke we really broke quickly and that's great to see.

"There's a real belief in the team that they're not going to be beaten. We have lost one or two, I know, but the character is absolutely amazing.

"We have a great togetherness, and it's been like that since I've been here - and I know it was like that before I got here."

Ryan McGorrigan cancelled out Jose Ortiz's first-half spot-kick before Marcus Maddison put Newcastle ahead, and although Ryan McLaughlin levelled matters with six minutes to go, Miele prodded home the decisive goal with only seconds remaining.

All three goals came after the ball was delivered from wide areas and Watson explained: "They were quick counter-attacks. We have pace with Marcus in the wide areas and Ryan McGorrigan who did a great job down the right, and people get into the box looking to score goals. So when the delivery comes in, we will have people in there."

But while that was part of the game plan, winger Maddison scoring a rare goal with his head to cap a sparking display was not.

"He's not renowned for his heading ability - but he can head the ball, the lad," insisted Watson. "We've seen it a number of times in training; he's got good heading technique which he needs to use more because if you can get goals with your head and your feet, you're some player."