Peter Beardsley pinpoints the reason behind his Newcastle Under-21 side’s ‘poor’ season

Peter Beardsley
Peter Beardsley

Peter Beardsley is looking to “start afresh” with Newcastle United’s Under-21s – after a difficult season ended in defeat.

Beardsley’s below-par side were beaten 4-1 at Brighton and Hove Albion on Monday night.

The defeat followed weekend losses for the club’s first team and Under-18s.

And supporters have called for a review of every level of the club at the end of a troubled campaign.

Newcastle, without a win since January, ended the Under-21 Premier League season 10th in the 12-team second division.

Football development manager Beardsley believes the club’s policy of loaning players out for competitive first-team experience was one factor behind his team’s “poor” campaign.

It’s been disappointing, but it is what it is. We have to try to make the best of it and improve them.

Peter Beardsley

Work is already underway ahead of next season, with the club having offered contracts to a number of players.

Midfielder Sean Longstaff and goalkeeper Paul Woolston have been offered third-year scholarships.

Asked about plans for next season, Beardsley said: “We’ve offered contracts to certain players.

“They come back and decide. That’s something I’m not involved with.

“We’ve made decisions. Hopefully, we can start afresh next season.

“Through no fault of anybody, it’s been a poor season in the sense we’ve had to take players from the Academy, and then the Academy, when they lose players, have to take 16-year-olds.

“It’s been a knock-on (effect) all the way down the club.

“It’s been disappointing, but it is what it is. We have to try to make the best of it and improve them.

“Wherever they go, if they’ve improved while being here, that’s the most important thing.”

Jamie Cobain and Adam Laidler – who are leaving the club at the end of the season – made their final appearances for Newcastle against Brighton, who had former Real Madrid player Jack Harper in their starting XI.

“That’s why we played him (Cobain),” said Beardsley.

“The kid’s been great. He’s been with us since he was 11.

“Adam Laidler’s been with us since he was 14 or 15.

“It was good for them to end their Newcastle careers at St James’s Park, and Jamie to be captain.

“It was a disappointing score, but overall the two of them have been top class.”