Dawson delighted with Premier League Cup victory
Written by Luke Vinton
Ben Dawson felt his side faced their toughest encounter of the season after Newcastle's youngsters battled towards to a 2-0 Premier League Cup win over Leeds United Under-23s on Friday night.
In-form striker Elias Sørensen opened the scoring on the half-hour mark, with the Dane netting his 17th goal of the season, before Adam Wilson sealed three points for the Magpies with a stoppage-time strike.
The victory earned United three important points in Group H, drawing level with leaders Southampton on seven points while moving four points clear of Leeds in third place.
After facing a Leeds attack which included the likes of Patrick Bamford and Izzy Brown, Dawson was impressed with how the team kept their opponents at bay.
"I thought the game was really tough," Dawson told nufc.co.uk. "I think that was the best team we have played this season in terms of giving us a good game and their ability to move the ball.
"They tested us out of possession but I'm really pleased that we managed to keep a clean sheet which always gives you a chance at the other end due to the attacking threats that we have on the pitch.
"The team managed to do all the things that are required in senior football at times when the opposition do not allow you to play the way you want to. Tonight, they showed that resilience and character.
"There has been an improvement in communication along the backline, people covering each other and opening their body positions up so they can identify the threats coming in so, overall, I thought they did very well."
Newcastle's opening goal came from eye-catching move starting from defence, and Dawson revealed a discussion with goalkeeping coach Steve Harper about the quality of the team goal.
The Under-23s coach added: "At half-time, Harps made the point that you'll not see a better goal in the way we have won the ball back, played out from the back and switched play.
"Once we saw it going out to the right, we thought it was a matter of time before it was going in.
"It was everything that we have asked of them; either throughout the season in terms of the work we do week to week but also little bits in particular for the game."