Dawson calls for more of the same in Checkatrade Trophy clash
Written by Dan King
Coach Ben Dawson has called for more of the same as his Newcastle under-21 side travel to Notts County on Tuesday for their second Checkatrade Trophy group game of the season.
United produced an excellent display to beat League One promotion chasers Doncaster Rovers 3-1 last month, with Tom Allan, Cal Roberts and Elias Sørensen on target at the Keepmoat Stadium.
And Dawson knows that his youngsters will have to be just as efficient against an in-form County side in a 7.45pm (BST) kick-off at Meadow Lane.
The competition pits 16 top-flight Academy teams against senior sides from Leagues One and Two, with the final held at Wembley, and victory on Tuesday could see United qualify for the round of 32 ahead of their final group game at Grimsby Town.
"We probably had to defend a little bit more than what we wanted to do at Doncaster but we prepped for that - sometimes that happens and you can't do everything you want all of the time," Dawson told nufc.co.uk.
"But if we can have the same shape, the same commitment and same discipline out of possession that we had at Doncaster, it'll give us a good foundation to then go on and try to get three points."
Notts County lost 2-1 to Grimsby in their first match of the tournament, but their results have improved dramatically since then.
They started slowly in League Two and parted company with former Newcastle skipper Kevin Nolan in late August. He was replaced by ex-Liverpool and Leeds man Harry Kewell and they have won their last three matches, with their most recent victory coming at Macclesfield Town on Saturday.
"There's been a bit of a change around since Kevin Nolan left, a turnaround of players, and with Harry going in it might be a different style and shape that they're playing, but we'll go there - like we do with all our games - with a game plan of how we want to impose ourselves, and not be too worried about how they play," insisted Dawson.
"It's more about whether we can do the things that we do really well normally.
"They've got a bit of momentum going in after a couple of good results and are obviously getting used to (Kewell's) ideas and the way he wants to play.
"No doubt the crowd will be excited for it, with that momentum, so it's a case of us going down there with the right mentality to make sure that we match them for work rate, intensity, match the nasty stuff that we might have to be able to do, then hopefully we show that we've got a bit of quality on the ball to create some chances and get our noses in front."
Tickets are available on the day priced at £7 for adults (including over 65s and under-16s) and £1 for accompanied under-12s. Accompanied under-sevens can gain free admission.
"If we can have the same shape, the same commitment and same discipline out of possession that we had at Doncaster, it'll give us a good foundation to then go on and try to get three points."