James Tavernier

By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter

James Tavernier helped Newcastle gain a useful away draw in his first taste of European football - and vowed that the experience would help him as a player.

Making only his third appearance for the club in all competitions, the 20-year-old was on loan at Blue Square Bet Premier side Gateshead 18 months ago but started the Europa League fourth qualifying round first leg tie against Atromitos.

And he looked commendably comfortable in continental company - although he was caught out for the Greeks' 24th minute opener when Denis Epstein stole in behind the right-back to slot past Steve Harper before Ryan Taylor levelled to make United slight favourites for the second leg at the Sports Direct Arena. 

"I'll go away and I'll get a copy of the game and I'll look through it and analyse myself," the Bradford-born youngster told nufc.co.uk. "And I'll pick out the points where I can improve through the game. I'll go away and just have a look.

"I'm really honoured to have played in Europe and hopefully I'll get better and better from here.

"Obviously it's a much higher level than I've been used to. In the European game, there are different types of players that you come up against so it's always a new experience to come up against them.

"But I really enjoy coming up against different players so I'm pleased about the performance and I'm pleased about the result of the team."

Tavernier's two previous senior appearances both came in the Carling Cup, away to Peterborough and Accrington Stanley, while last season saw him spend time on loan with Carlisle, Sheffield Wednesday and MK Dons.

But his impressive performances in League One saw him sign a new three-year contract on Tyneside this summer and he could be regularly involved in United's European adventure - providing they qualify for the group stages.

To do that, they need to see off Atromitos in the second leg but Tavernier believes Alan Pardew's side are more than capable of finishing the job.

"We dominated the game," he said. "We passed the ball more - that's what were doing this year, we're passing the ball more as you can see - and Ryan Taylor's free-kick was just great to get us back into the game.

"We want to progress as far as we can in this tournament - and even win the tournament - and this is a good result to come away from here with a draw.

"And when we go back to our stadium, we can hopefully get the result that we want."