It could have been more - Beardsley
Written by Rory Mitchinson
Peter Beardsley admitted his Newcastle United Under-23 side could have had more than the six goals they plundered against Bradford City on Wednesday.
Tom Heardman struck a hat-trick at the Bantams’ Appleby Bridge training ground, with Luke Charman’s effort and a Yasin Ben El-Mhanni brace rounding off a comfortable afternoon’s work for the Magpies.
The victory brought the curtain down on their Central League Cup group stage campaign, United sitting second in the competition’s Northern Group One with their four rivals still to play another fixture.
Beardsley paid tribute to the goalscoring exploits of Heardman – the frontman having also notched another three in last week’s friendly win over Burnley at Little Benton.
“It’s been a Happy Christmas for Tom,” Beardsley told nufc.co.uk. “Before the Burnley game, he told us, he’d only scored one hat-trick in his career, and now he has two in a week. The great thing about Tom is that he always gives 100 per cent. He doesn’t play well in every game, but his attitude is spot-on, and he deserves a bit of luck.
“If I’m being really critical, we should have scored more goals yesterday. The first ten minutes, it was probably even, but then we started playing some really nice football. We were comfortable at half-time, and once we got the third, the floodgates opened.”
Beardsley also picked out the performance of 16-year-old Adam Wilson as cause for optimism, who deputised at left-back in the absence of Liam Gibson.
Wilson – deployed mainly as a winger for United’s Under-18 side – has now made a handful of appearances for the second-string this term, having made his debut against Hartlepool United in October.
“Adam was really, really good. Gippa was injured, so it was a good chance for him to come in, and he took it,” Beardsley said.
“He thinks he’s a left winger, but last year we did the same with Adam Laidler. He was left-sided, but occasionally he had to play at left-back for us and he did well. In the modern game – if you look at what Vurnon (Anita) is doing for the first team now – it is possible for you to play both positions. It’s a good thing for Adam (Wilson) that he has that versatility.”
"If I’m being really critical, we should have scored more goals yesterday. We were comfortable at half-time, and once we got the third, the floodgates opened.”