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Dawson hopeful youngsters can maintain recent standards

Written by Rory Mitchinson

Ben Dawson is hopeful Newcastle United Under-23s can serve up a similar kind of performance to last week’s drubbing of Manchester United when they take on Southampton in the Premier League Cup on Friday night.

The Magpies’ youngsters saw off the Red Devils 4-1 at Leigh Sports Village, with Elias Sørensen’s brace, Cal Roberts’ effort and Yannick Toure’s first goal for the club sealing an eye-catching victory – their fifth in their last six games in all competitions.

One of those came in the Premier League Cup, with United overcoming Notts County at Whitley Park after surviving a late scare.

Newcastle lost narrowly to Southampton in the Premier League 2 two months ago, but – with just about everything having gone right a week past Friday – Dawson has challenged his side to maintain their recent standards when they head to the Saints’ Staplewood training complex.

“It was pleasing that we were back to what we’d class as normal. On the night, we used 14 players, and the 14 players we used were all really good,” he told nufc.co.uk. “I thought we had good control when we didn’t have the ball, in terms of controlling the space – especially in behind. We knew that they’d try to cut in and combine with things centrally, and the times they did manage to get through the midfield-line, they didn’t get through the backline and it had to go back wide. And in possession, we’ve got a lot of quality. We had good spells in possession on the ball, scored some good goals, and on the evening, everybody that needed to play their part did so, and they did it well.

“We’ve had a little look back at the game we played against Southampton up here, which was the one where the back-pass let their lad in for the goal. But both teams had chances that day. They’re always very well organised, effective at set-plays and generally quite a tough and physical team. It’ll be important for us that we match up to that. We at least have to match them for the physical effort, and the physical contact stuff, and we hope then that the quality on the ball is the bit that is the difference. If we can get good control of the ball, build from the back and get it to our forward-thinking players in good positions, then we are on a little bit of a roll at the moment in terms of scoring goals and putting teams under pressure, so hopefully we can continue to do that.”

"If we can get good control of the ball, build from the back and get it to our forward-thinking players in good positions, then we are on a little bit of a roll at the moment in terms of scoring goals and putting teams under pressure, so hopefully we can continue to do that."

Ben Dawson

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