Ben Dawson reveals the key half-time message that inspired Newcastle U23s stunning Sunderland comeback
Ben Dawson always believed that Newcastle would battle their way to victory against Sunderland U23s - despite being two goals down.
Early strikes from Lee Connolly and Jack Diamond saw Dawson's young side facing an uphill battle, but the Newcastle U23 boss always believed his side would convert some of the many chances they were creating.
And it was reinforcing that belief at half-time that inspired the Magpies to stage a remarkable comeback, as a late winner from Rosaire Longelo topped-off a spirited comeback.
Dawson was pleased with his side's overall performance in the Premier League 2 triumph, despite some sloppy defending which handed the Black Cats the early initiative.
"I think they were well aware that we'd gifted them a couple of goals in the first half, in terms of a couple of individual errors," he admitted.
"But for the most part they did what was asked of them.
"We asked for hard work, effort and some good basics - which we did.
"There were seven or eight great chances in the first half that we just didn't put away."
The missed chances alluded to by Dawson threatened to scupper Newcastle's chances, with Elias Sorensen and Thomas Allan guilty of squandering glorious opportunities.
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But the pair made amends as they netted Newcastle's first two goals which sparked the comeback into life.
And reiterating the belief that the side would score was key to Dawson's half-time team talk.
"We said at half-time, you've created seven or eight chances and you'll get at least that in the second half," he added.
"We worked out when we could get in behind and if we couldn't, then we stayed in their half and kept them on the back foot.
"Even when they did win it, the lads at the back were first to it.
"We reminded them at half-time about not getting on each other's cases and that mistakes were going to happen.
"You just need to do what they do every day in training and they did that."