Newcastle United briefing: Hero David Kelly in the dugout, Joselu's 'lucky' break

Joselu celebrates his goal against Liverpool
Joselu celebrates his goal against Liverpool

There will be a familiar face in the opposition dugout at Vale Park tonight.

David Kelly, the man who saved Newcastle United from relegation to the old Division Three in 1992, is in temporary charge of Checkatrade Trophy opponents Port Vale.

Peter Beardsley's side are looking for a second group win, having beaten Crewe Alexandra 2-1 at Gresty Road in late August.

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Meanwhile, Joselu has spoken about the "lucky" goal from earned Newcastle a point from Sunday's game against Liverpool.

And Ayoze Perez, his Spanish countryman, has reflected on the first seven games of the season.

Joselu after a missed chance

Joselu after a missed chance

Finally, Scotland assistant manager Mark McGee says Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths is good enough to play for United, his former club.

Heres' your daily briefing:

Lucky break

Joselu needed a goal – and it didn't matter how it came.

Ayoze Perez

Ayoze Perez

The striker had missed a series of chances against Stoke City and Brighton and Hove Albion.

And Joselu didn't care that his strike against Liverpool bounced off his shin.

Joselu was set away by a superb through ball from the recalled Jonjo Shelvey.

Joel Matip, chasing him, attempted the clear the ball, but he struck it off Joselu’s shin and it rolled past Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet to cancel out Philippe Coutinho’s stunning opening goal.

Leigh Griffiths

Leigh Griffiths

“I think only to go to the keeper and keep on one side. “The defender (Matip) came to win the ball. It was a lucky goal, but a goal is a goal.

“It’s very important because it took the point.”

On his missed chances, Joselu added: "I try to work hard every week and do my best on the pitch. That’s it. Of course, I want to score more goals, but football is like that.”


United have taken 10 points from their opening seven games.

That's seven more points than they had at this stage of their relegation season.

And Perez, part of the team that went down in 2015-16, is happy with that "good number".

The forward said: “We’re on 10 points now, and to be honest, I think that’s a good number.

“It could have been even better, but it’s a good start. I think if we had been offered this position at the start of the season, we would have taken it.

“We have to keep growing and improving, but we’ve shown that we are comfortable at this level. We have had a few different tests, but we showed against Liverpool that we can handle ourselves against a top side."

He's "absolutely" Scot it

Is Griffiths good enough to play in the English top flight?

McGee is in no doubt about that after watching Newcastle's game against Brighton and Hove Albion last month.

"Last week, I was at Brighton against Newcastle, and Leigh could have played in either of those teams," said McGee. "Absolutely no danger.”

Straight talking

Vale are at a low ebb are their 2-0 weekend defeat to Stevenage.

The club, which parted company with manager Michael Brown last month, is 22nd in League Two – and the Checkatrade Trophy will be low down their priority list.

And Kelly – who scored a crucial late winner against Portsmouth for relegation-threatened United in 1992 – didn't pull any punches after the loss at Broadhall Way.

"Confidence is very low after that result," said Kelly. "Regardless of whoever is in charge of the football club going forward, the players have got to get themselves out of the situation.

“They’ve got to stand up and be counted. They need to come together for the good of the club. There’s a negativity around the club and the new manager has to lift that."

There is a ticket point next to the away end for cash sales to United fans. Entry to the Group D game is £10 for adults and £5 for concessions.

Gateshead manager Neil Aspin has been linked with the vacant managerial post at Vale.