Newcastle United coach Ben Dawson wants quartet Ludwig Francillette, Lewis Cass Tom Allan and Elias Sorensen to make the most of their FA Cup opportunity at Rochdale
Defensive duo Ludwig Francillette and Lewis Cass were both on the team coach after being left out of the Magpies Under-23’s side that beat their Fulham counterparts as manager Steve Bruce contends with an injury list that has robbed him of as many as eleven of his senior players.
Forwards Tom Allan and Elias Sorensen were also missing from the squad and they have also made the trip to the North West.
Danish striker Sorensen is still able to feature in this season’s FA Cup after he remained as an unused substitute for Carlisle United over two ties against Dulwich Hamlet and Forest Green Rovers during his loan spell at Brunton Park earlier in the campaign.
The young quartet could be handed their chance against the League One side – although it appears they will have to settle for a place on the bench after Bruce indicated that he would field the strongest side possible in an attempt to secure a place in Monday’s Fourth Round draw.
“For these young lads, you never know when the opportunity is going to come,” explained the United coach.
“For some of them it was yesterday, for some the day before, some of them might be next week – you just don’t know when it’s going to come.
“You just have to put yourself in the best position and some of the lads here today will have done themselves the world of good.
“Reports go back that he’s done well, and he’s done well in training.
“They have to be on it everyday so that when that opportunity does come up, they are ready to take it.
“Looking back over the years, there are a lot of debuts for younger players in League Cups or FA Cups, the time of year when it’s been a busy programme for the first-team.
“Sometimes the opportunity comes up when you least expect it so if those lads do get a chance tomorrow, they can do as well as they can.”
Dawson was speaking in the aftermath of United Under-23’s 3-0 win against Fulham in Premier League 2.
Forward trio Yannick Toure, Victor Fernandez and Rosaire Longelo – who was considered for a place in the first team squad for tomorrow’s cup tie at Rochdale – were all on the score-sheet as Dawson’s side moved to within four points of a play-off place in the Group 2 table.
The United coach was pleased with the Magpies youngsters and challenged them to take the positives from the performance into next Friday’s visit to Manchester United.
He said: “The lads have had a decent break over Christmas, and I think they have missed it.
“They’ve come back in and worked really hard this week.
“(There were) some chances and opportunities for people to play because some lads have been up training with the first team today.
“That gives others a chance and they have been excellent.
“I am really pleased with them; their effort and intensity were good and the desire to keep the ball out of our net was better than what it has been this year.
“Some good performances at the top end of the pitch topped it off.
“We see the hard work they are putting in everyday, sometimes it doesn’t quite pay off but today it has, and you can see the smiles on the faces in there, they are pleased with it.
“The challenge is now can they continue and do it again next week at Manchester United.”