Romain Amalfitano

By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter

Romain Amalfitano produced his best performance yet for Newcastle in the Reserves' 4-1 friendly win at Gateshead - but Willie Donachie believes there is still more to come from the Frenchman.

During his 45 minute run-out at the International Stadium, the former Reims man scored a great solo goal as he ran from his own half before smashing home and his overall display caught the eye almost as much as his bright yellow boots.

But second-string boss Donachie thinks the 22-year-old will get even better when he fully adjusts to the English game and life on Tyneside, having spent his whole career up until now in his homeland.

"He's still getting used to the club and the club are getting used to him," former Scottish international Donachie told nufc.co.uk.

"As I said to him after the game, it was a great display but there's still improvement in every area; defensively and all around.

"It was a good performance but I'm always after more and Romain - and several others - can get better still."

Amalfitano was one of several first-team squad members involved against the Heed, with Rob Elliot, Gael Bigirimana, Mehdi Abeid and James Tavernier all starting.

But 26-year-old Elliot was by some distance the Magpies' oldest player, and the likes of Conor Newton, Bradden Inman, Michael Richardson and Marcus Maddison all impressed Donachie.

"Compared to last season it was (a strong side)," he admitted. "But they were mainly young. I'd say they were all under 20 so all eligible for the Reserves.

"They were good, they worked hard and in pre-season that's the main thing - even more important than the result. But it was great to win the game. The attitude was good, we worked hard and that's all you can ask.

"For the younger ones, it was their first game. They've not had a full game yet and against quite a strong team - Gateshead are a strong team with pretty mature men and experienced people - they did well.

"Marcus and all the young ones, it was their first game. Conor, Brad, Michael - they did really well, as well as the more experienced players."

Captaining the team was 20-year-old Paul Dummett, who enhanced his growing reputation with another solid showing after playing for the first-team against Olympiakos in Portugal last week.

And, explaining his decision to give the armband to the young left-back, Donachie said: "Dummy's an outstanding character and always reliable. He loves the club and he deserves it."