Mehdi Abeid’s eyeing a role for Toon in league and cup

BATTLE ... Newcastle's Mehdi Abeid, left, beats Blackburn's Grant Hanley.
BATTLE ... Newcastle's Mehdi Abeid, left, beats Blackburn's Grant Hanley.

MEHDI Abeid’s confident he’ll get stronger by the game after making his home debut for Newcastle United.

Abeid made only his second appearance for the club in Saturday’s dramatic 2-1 FA Cup win over Blackburn Rovers.

The teenager was handed a chance alongside Yohan Cabaye in the centre of midfield with Cheik Tiote having headed away to join his Ivory Coast team-mates ahead of the African Cup of Nations.

‘I won’t let Toon down’ says Mehdi Abeid

And Abeid – who was signed from Lens last summer – steadily grew into the third-round tie.

Manager Alan Pardew sees defensively-minded Abeid as a natural replacement for Tiote, and the 19-year-old is hoping to keep his place for Sunday’s home game against Queens Park Rangers.

“It was a really good experience to play, and I learned a lot,” Abeid told the Gazette.

“I hope to do well at Newcastle, and I hope that everybody is happy with what I produced.

“I think the more I play, the better I’ll get, game by game.

“I want to show what I can do and get more time to play. Staying in the cup is good for me. I want it to continue, and I hope to do well every time.”

The tie against Blackburn was decided by Jonas Gutierrez deep in injury time, Hatem Ben Arfa having earlier cancelled out David Goodwillie’s first-half goal with a stunning goal.

“We didn’t want a replay – we’ve played a lot in the last month or so,” said Abeid.

“It’s good that we won, and we can have more rest for the Premier League games.

“Our recovery can be good, and gives us a chance to win more games.”

Newcastle will meet either Brighton and Hove Albion or Wrexham in the fourth round of the FA Cup, the two sides having played out a 1-1 draw at the Amex Stadium.

And Abeid’s confident United can enjoy a run in a competition they haven’t won since 1955.

“We’re really trying to win this competition, so we’re really happy with it,” said Abeid.