In-form Callum Roberts pushing for first-team breakthrough at Newcastle

Callum Roberts
Callum Roberts

Callum Roberts wants to get his teenage kicks at Newcastle United this season.

The talented winger scored both the club’s goals in Monday night’s 2-0 Under-21 Premier League win over Aston Villa at St James’s Park.

Roberts made his senior debut in the FA Cup last season.

And the 18-year-old from North Shields would love another first-team opportunity.

United head coach Steve McClaren has loaned out a number of young players already this season, but Roberts – who had a brief spell at Gateshead last season – is focused on making an impression on Tyneside.

Asked about his hopes for the season, Roberts said: “Just to get more experience.

Hopefully, I can keep impressing him and catch his (McClaren’s) eye.

Callum Roberts

“I want to make a breakthrough here – that’s the aim this season. Maybe I will stay for this season and go out somewhere next year.

“I can learn from the first team here. If I keep playing well, hopefully I can make the breakthrough and get into the first-team squad.

“Hopefully, I can keep impressing him and catch his (McClaren’s) eye.”

Roberts’s half-season loan across the Tyne at the International Stadium started well, but he was quickly recalled by Newcastle after then-Gateshead manager Gary Mills asked him to play in a reserve game.

However, when Roberts – who came off the bench in January’s FA Cup defeat to Leicester City – returned to United, he found himself further away from the first-team squad.

“I was playing well here and getting into squads, “ said Roberts. “Then it stopped because I went on loan.

“When I came back it didn’t go as I wanted it to. Hopefully, it can this season.

“I was playing regularly here, but at Gateshead it didn’t go to plan. I came back and things weren’t the same.”

Roberts’ two goals, both unselfishly set up by summer signing Ivan Toney, came late in the game against Villa.

“It was a great performance from the team,” said Roberts, who turned professional at United last season.

“The discipline was great as well – it got us the breakthrough in the end.

“To score the two goals was nice as well. It’s been a good start from the whole team really.

“We had a few disappointing results, but the performances have been there. We’ve shown we can bounce back.

“We got the win against Aston Villa and to score is really good for me.

“I’ve set a few goals up for Ivan recently, but it turned around and he set me up against Villa.

“I thank him for the two goals, because he could have had a shot.

“It was unselfish from him, but he’s a good player. He could have easily taken the chances, but he squared the ball to me for two easy goals.

“We’re working together in training, so it’s coming off on the field in games now as well.

“It’s always great to play at St James’s Park, no matter what the occasion.

“That’s what I want t aim for, playing on Saturdays at 3pm at St James’s Park.”