Newcastle United coach issues fitness update on midfielder

Joe White’s getting back into his stride at Newcastle United.

The midfielder got his first 90-minute stint on his return from injury last night as the club’s Under-21s were beaten 2-0 by Barnsley at Oakwell in a Papa John’s Trophy group game.

White – who signed a new contract with the club early this year – returned from a groin problem late last month

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And Elliot Dickman believes that the 19-year-old – who started out at hometown club Carlisle United before joining Newcastle in 2016 – is close to full fitness.

“He’s slowly on his way back,” said Dickman, the club’s lead player development coach for the Under-21s. “There’s bits in his game tonight which have been good, but we’re not going to settle for that, we want more.

"The expectations of Joe are really, really high, so, without putting too much pressure on Joe, he’s got to understand where he is and where he’s at. He’ll eventually get to the form he showed last season. He’s not too far away from it. The games will help it.

"I think that was his first 90 minutes. That’s good for him to get 90 minutes under his belt. He’s just got to build on that moving forward.”

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Newcastle United's Joe White catches his breath at Oakwell.

White – who made his senior debut in a friendly last year – has been training regularly with Eddie Howe’s first-team squad along with a number of his Under-21 team-mates.

United were beaten by two late goals at Oakwell. The club’s final Group E game is away to Lincoln City on October 18.