Newcastle United coach confirms double defender injury blow after player leaves on loan
Sunderland came from behind to win late on at The Academy of Light as goals from Jewison Bennette and Zak Johnson cancelled out Josh Scott’s second half opener. And Newcastle's new Under-21s coach Ben Dawson was left particularly disappointed with Sunderland’s equaliser as he felt Bennette should have been set off minutes before scoring following a clash with Amadou Diallo.
The deflected strike also saw United defender Harry Barclay forced off with an injury.
"The first one, you could see that coming when the referee doesn't send the player off for head-locking and wrestling somebody to the floor,” Dawson told The Gazette. “Once that's past, he's still on the pitch and we've got to defend and got to get back in.
"It looked a bit odd how it went in the net and Harry has had to come off with a bit of an injury having been involved in that situation.
"I'm disappointed but in these types of games we have to make sure at 1-0 up we keep the clean sheet and if we do concede we must make sure we keep things tight and don't concede another one which unfortunately we do from a set play which makes it more disappointing.”
Barclay’s injury will now be assessed and Dawson will be hoping it is not serious. Newcastle were without Alex Murphy due to injury on Monday and on the morning of the match, another defender, Niall Brookwell, was loaned to Darlington until the end of the season.
On Barclay, Dawson added: “I don't know [how serious it is]. I know the buggy had to come on and Carl Nelson [physio] had to spend a bit of time with him on the pitch.
"We'll need to get him back and assess him in the medical room before we know what has happened.
“[Murphy's] not involved, he had a bit of time off leading up to the Southampton game and picked up a bit of a knock so we're just taking our time now to make sure he's 100%.
"We don't play now for a couple of weeks so it's a good opportunity to get some good work into him in the training pitch and make sure he's ready and available come Leeds.”
The defeat leaves The Young Magpies eighth in the Premier League 2 Division 2 table, two points ahead of Sunderland. Despite the disappointing nature of the result, Dawson felt there were positives to take from the match.
“Disappointed with the result but I said to the lads that they deserved a little bit more,” he admitted. “Other than at those 10-yards either end of the pitch, I thought we were the better team.
"They've proved to be the better team at the 10-yards at either end which is ultimately where results come from.
"In terms of the performance, mentality, you can see the group and the squad evolving which bodes well for the future. It hurts a little bit in the here and now in terms of the results especially this one but there are positives to take away from it.”