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Bailey rues lack of luck after Porto defeat

Written by Tom Easterby

Defender Owen Bailey felt Newcastle United Under-23s lacked a bit of luck as they suffered semi-final defeat to Porto in the Premier League International Cup.

Oleg Reabciuk’s 89th-minute winner at St. James’ Park sent the Portuguese outfit through to the final on Thursday night, ending United’s cup hopes in the final moments of what was an engaging second half.

It was a cruel on the young Magpies, who had applied some pressure after a cagey first period, and 19-year-old Bailey says his side deserved more from what he believes was one of their most encouraging recent displays.

“The first 20 minutes or so, we gave them too much respect, but after that I think we realised that they weren’t what we thought they were before the game,” he told nufc.co.uk. “We just grew into the game and from there I thought we played really well. They had quality, but I think we did well to stop their threat, and we created a few chances of our own. I thought we were just really unlucky.

“I think it’s been a while since we played like that, to be honest. We’ve been playing well in a couple of halves, but we’ve never sustained a performance. To go out in that way is pretty disappointing, but we can be proud of the way we did it – we played well.

“No-one wants to concede a late goal. It took the wind out of our sails and there was no coming back from that really. I don’t think we deserved that – we deserved more from the game.”

Bailey added: “I think we know as a team that we have got quality, and I think it’s just been a while since we’ve seen it – our results reflect that, because were struggling a bit. But our performances haven’t been that bad on the whole.

"We’ve played some good stuff in spells in games, but we need to sustain that for 90 minutes. Today we did that, but just didn’t get the result we deserved. If a ball drops the other way, we come out with a 1-0 win instead.”

The defeat to Porto brings to an end United’s fine run in their first appearance in the competition, which has seen them progress from a group including PSV Eindhoven, Sparta Prague and Liverpool before a memorable penalty shoot-out victory over Sunderland in the quarter-final at the Stadium of Light.

And Bailey feels the Magpies youngsters have benefitted from the experience of facing unfamiliar teams from around the continent.

“It’s good for players to play against foreign teams,” he said. “We’ve played against three, and I think against all of them we probably played the better stuff against them.

“I think it just shows that we can mix it with the big teams, and that we’re not that far off the likes of Porto, who are quite well known for having such a good academy.

“I think that will help us going forward. If we’re lucky enough to be in it next season, we’ll hopefully take that into next year and we’ll realise that we are as good as teams like that and we can cope with them.”

"They had quality, but I think we did well to stop their threat, and we created a few chances of our own. I thought we were just really unlucky."

Owen Bailey

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