Newcastle coach reveals what he told his Under-23 players before Sunderland rout

Ben Dawson has a simple message for his Newcastle United players before the Under-23 derby.

Dawson's side beat Sunderland 5-0 at St James's Park on Monday night in a Premier League 2 Division Two fixture.

Newcastle's Under-23 players celebrate a goal.

Newcastle's Under-23 players celebrate a goal.

Luke Charman scored twice and Callum Roberts, Owen Bailey and Elias Sorensen also found the net.

Dawson, United's Under-23 coach, said: "We said to the lads before the game in the meeting that 'it doesn't get much better than this', in terms of Monday night under the lights (at St James's Park).

"The pitch was immaculate, little bit of rain beforehand.

"Obviously, the performance made it into an even better one. It was a terrific all-round performance."

Dawson had demanded "focus, intensity and enthusiasm" from his players.

"We asked for focus, intensity, a bit of enthusiasm," he added. "Like we said, it doesn't get much better than this. If you can't enjoy tonight, I don't know what will get you going.

"On top of that, you're asking them to show the quality they've got, and I thought they did for large spells.

"Everything that we've asked of the players since they've come back in, I thought there was good examples of that."