Magpies’ promising youngsters will get their chance

The Advertiser Series: DULL: Action from Newcastle United’s 1-0 defeat to Fulham at Craven Cottage DULL: Action from Newcastle United’s 1-0 defeat to Fulham at Craven Cottage

LAST weekend I witnessed possibly the worst game of football I have had the misfortune to attend – Sunderland v Crystal Palace – all the while I was keeping tabs on our surprising and disappointing score at Fulham.

It wasn’t the most boring; I nearly fell asleep watching us, under Sir Bobby, hosting Fulham a few years ago.

I’ll be watching Palace for the second weekend in a row this Saturday.

Part of me hopes they will play better than they did against Sunderland – trying to keep an interesting commentary going when the game isn’t, can be quite tricky – but that could cause a problem.

We have a few links with Palace.

Our manager famously scored a goal which sent them ino the 1990 FA Cup Final. Andy Woodman was on their books from a teenager.

Looking at the squads they were involved with, it is surprising how many of the players are still involved with football; whether it be coaching like Gareth Southgate or the media, Ian Wright and Mark Bright to name only two. The influence and passion of Steve Coppell can be felt everywhere.

We have been helped, and occasionally hindered, by that passion and have reaped the rewards.

That passion is very evident in our youth and Under-21 teams; members of whom are beginning to get chances in the first team.

Young Adam Armstrong got his first chance last week; there have been calls from the fans for him to continue.

Our Under-21s are our best chance for silverware this season having reached the Semi-Final of the County Cup during the week.

The future is looking bright if these are the players that will come through. Some, like Gael Bigirimana, already have 1st team experience.

Others, like my ex-pupil Callum Williams, are only just coming through. Callum isn’t yet 18 but Peter Beardsley has shown great faith in him giving him this chance.

I hope we see some more of the youngsters before the end of the season and the passion they are showing continues at all levels. Palace this weekend will come with a gameplan like last week; we must up ours to avoid a repeat of the Fulham result.

JOHN MIDDLETON

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