Mehdi Abeid

By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter

On a bitter-sweet night for Mehdi Abeid, the midfielder dedicated his winning goal against Aston Villa's under-21s to stricken team-mate Haris Vuckic.

The 20-year-old struck home from the edge of the area for his first goal of the campaign at second-string level but just over ten minutes later Vuckic had been stretchered off after a tangle with Samir Carruthers.

Abeid counts the Slovenian as one of his closest pals and when he spoke to nufc.co.uk after the match, his thoughts were very much with his colleague.

"I'm really, really sad for him and I wish him all the best," said the former Lens youngster.

"He doesn't have a lot of luck - he's had a lot of injuries before this season and I hope for him that it's going to be better in the future.

"He is one of my best friends here and I wish him all the best." 

However, Abeid was pleased to play such a key role in Newcastle's Villa Park victory - particularly with manager Alan Pardew in the crowd.

"It was good for me that the manager came," he said. "It was an opportunity to show him what I can do in the Reserve team and to show him that maybe later he could have a place for me in his team at Newcastle.

"I hope that he enjoyed the game.

"It was a very, very good win today. It was a hard game - they played really well but we did good on the counter attack and that was good for us.

"The pitch was fantastic, unbelievable, and the game was really quick. You have to keep the ball because when you're tired it's better to keep the ball than to chase it, so we're very happy about today.

"I scored against Fenerbahce in pre-season but it's better to score today than in a friendly game, so I'm really happy to have the victory and looking forward to more games."