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Late venue change suits us, says Peter

Written by Rory Mitchinson

Peter Beardsley is hopeful a late change of venue will benefit his Newcastle United Under-23 side at Stoke City on Friday.

The Premier League 2 Division Two clash was originally scheduled to take place at Leek Town’s Harrison Park, but will now be contested at the Potters’ Clayton Wood training complex.

Kick-off has also been brought forward five hours to 2pm – a welcome arrangement for the young Magpies, who are set to travel on Thursday afternoon.

With plenty of further travelling on the horizon, Beardsley admits he is happy to be cutting down on time spent out of the North East.

“I don’t know why it’s been changed, but I’m glad it has, because it suits us as well,” he told nufc.co.uk. “To be fair, it’s five hours. We go overnight anyway, so it’d have been a long day in the hotel. Now, it isn’t as long. If you look at it, they’re going to be first team players down the line, and this is what you do – basically, you get up and you play in the afternoon. It’s the perfect scenario, because it gets them used to it, rather than hanging around hotels.

“You never know what the reason is (behind the change), but the fact we’re now playing at the first team’s training ground means they might put one or two in, and fair play to them if they do, because we would do the same. They play on Saturday, so they might want to take a look at a couple who may be used as substitutes.”

The young Magpies head to Staffordshire on the back of an impressive run of form, having racked up six wins in their last eight outings.

They will rise to second in the standings with another victory on Friday, opponents Stoke currently bottom of the pile.

Coached by one-time United midfielder Glyn Hodges, the Potters are winless in the Premier League 2 since October 14.

But Beardsley – whose charges saw off Aston Villa in their last outing – admits he is shocked to see Friday’s opponents propping up the division.

“Glyn is a good lad and a good coach, and they’ll be well-organised and disciplined,” he said. “I’m genuinely surprised they are bottom of the league. I expect the boys to be playing for him.

“From our point-of-view, everything is positive at the moment. When you look at the way Rob Elliot was with the group (on Monday), it was really good to see. Apparently he has commented – not to me – about the mood of the group and what the spirit is like, and that’s great coming from a first team player.

“That is positive, but it’s down to them. We do certain things for them, but ultimately they have to go and do it on the field, and they are doing that – in the main.”

"I don’t know why it’s been changed, but I’m glad it has. They’re going to be first team players down the line, and this is what you do – basically, you get up and you play in the afternoon. It’s the perfect scenario."

Peter Beardsley

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