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Young Magpies ready for Royals rumble

Written by Tom Easterby

Peter Beardsley says he’ll be demanding maximum effort from his Newcastle United Under-23s side as they look to halt their recent slide with victory over Reading on Monday night.

The Magpies welcome the Royals to Whitley Park (7pm kick-off) hoping to secure what would be their first win since last month’s Premier League International Cup triumph over Sparta Prague.

In Premier League 2 Division Two, though, United haven’t won since August, and Beardsley is hoping his young team can build on the improvement they made against Liverpool last time out as they look to get back to winning ways.

“All we ever ask is maximum effort. Not everything can be perfect, we’re not stupid, but maximum effort is what we ask, and hopefully the rest will take care of itself,” he told nufc.co.uk.

“Reading play good football, and they’re having a bit of success with the system they’re playing at the moment, so fair play to them. I remember them playing some lovely football against us last year.

“But as I keep saying, it’s all about us, and the reaction of our players. They played well at Liverpool in a game that could have gone either way. We probably had the better clear-cut chances, but sometimes when your luck’s out, your luck’s out.

“We have some good players, but becoming more consistent is the best way of showing people what you can do.”

Callum Roberts’ strike put the Magpies in front against Liverpool ten days ago, and though the Reds turned the International Cup tie on its head to win 2-1, Beardsley felt his youngsters had shown signs that they could put an end to their poor run sooner rather than later.

“You can have bad days, especially when you’re young – everyone understands that – but you shouldn’t lose six in six. Not that there are any excuses at any time, but that really wasn’t us, so that was disappointing,” he said.

“But in the Liverpool one, they played good football, and we did have the clear cut chances that you have to take when they come along.

“We’ve struggled when we go behind, so getting in front at Liverpool was the perfect scenario, but unfortunately we couldn’t hang on until half time.

“But we had probably the two best situations in the game – Victor (Fernandez) missed a golden chance, and then we had a chance at the end with Kitch (Ben Kitchen).

“I think they all know they improved, but until you win a game it won’t be out your system. We haven’t won a game for a while and it’s frustrating for them, but the good thing is we’ve got Monday to look forward to now.”

Forward Luke Charman could come back into the reckoning for the visit of Reading, while Beardsley says a number of his charges are also edging closer to returns. “There’s one or two that still aren’t fit – Liam Smith, Jack Hunter, Michael Newberry – and Liam Gibson might be a little bit longer, but I think apart from those four, everyone is ready to go.”

There could also be a number of first-teamers on show against the Royals, with Freddie Woodman, Jamie Sterry and Henri Saivet among those who have featured for United’s second string this term.

Tickets are available on the turnstiles at Whitley Park, priced at £3 for adults and £1 for concessions, while admission is free for Magpies season ticket holders and members.

"All we ever ask is maximum effort. Not everything can be perfect, we’re not stupid, but maximum effort is what we ask, and hopefully the rest will take care of itself."

Peter Beardsley

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