Mo to come from youngsters after Checkatrade success - Sangare
Written by Rory Mitchinson
Mo Sangare is confident Newcastle United’s youngsters still have an extra couple of gears to move up as they await Saturday’s draw for the last 16 of the Checkatrade Trophy.
Ben Dawson’s side continued their impressive run in the competition by getting the better of Macclesfield Town on Tuesday night, playing out a 1-1 draw before edging a dramatic penalty shootout at St. James’ Park.
Along with Manchester City’s second string, the young Magpies are one of just two Under-21 sides to have progressed to the quarter finals of the Trophy’s northern section. Accrington Stanley, Bury, Port Vale, Shrewsbury Town and Sunderland will also be involved in Saturday’s draw, with Oldham Athletic and Rochdale’s Second Round clash set to take place next week.
Whoever United’s next opponents, though, midfielder Sangare – who smashed home the winning penalty on Tuesday – feels that they are more than capable of improving on their performance against the Silkmen.
“I think we know, and the coaches know, that we can do much better than we did against Macclesfield,” he told nufc.co.uk. “If we played the way we can, we could have beaten them by more. We’re a lot better than what we showed out there on Tuesday. What we did, we can do better. And in the next game we have to do what we didn’t do, so we’re definitely looking forward to it.
“We weren’t at our best as a team but we managed to stay in the game, keep our heads right, and at the end we did what we had to do to win it. Obviously, there was a bit of pressure playing in front of the fans, and it’s good we dealt with that in the right way. Everyone’s sticking together, working hard for each other and encouraging each other. We’re looking forward to the next game and we’re looking to go as far as we can to show we’re a good side and a well-coached side.”
Sangare – who was called up by his native Liberia a month ago – has predominantly featured for Dawson’s side as a substitute so far this season, and was understandably delighted to convert the winning spot kick.
And, with all five of the Magpies’ takers having been successful from the spot, the teenager – who turns 20 later this month – was quick to highlight the contribution made by the team’s coaching staff on the training pitch.
“All credit to the coaches – what we do on the training ground, we take it into the matches,” he said. “Everyone was confident that they could (score from the spot). There was no real pressure because we’ve done it in training and everyone was confident within themselves.
“We try to adjust to whatever we’re against. It’s competitive in training and that gives everyone a little boost, so when we face what we face we know what we have to do.
“It was a great feeling to score the final penalty, considering the situation I’ve been in. I didn’t start the game, so I was a little bit frustrated, but that’s the decision and it isn’t in my control. All I could do was come and do what I do best, and that’s what I did. I tried to help the team to the best of my ability and to score the winning penalty was one of the best moments I’ve had so far.”
"I think we know, and the coaches know, that we can do much better than we did against Macclesfield. We’re looking forward to the next game and we’re looking to go as far as we can to show we’re a good side and a well-coached side."