Newcastle United defender reflects on 'ridiculous' game

Ben Dawson.
Ben Dawson.

Newcastle United are, potentially, just a win away from Premier League safety.

This season, again, has been about top-flight survival for Rafa Bentiez’s side.

Yet it’s been a very different campaign for Ben Dawson’s Under-23 team, who are in a cup semi-final and also pushing for promotion.

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United are third in Premier League 2 Division Two – and two points behind league leaders Southampton – with two games left to play after Monday night’s eventful 3-2 win over Stoke City.

Captain Owen Bailey netted twice after missing a first-half penalty as Newcastle came from behind at the Bet365 Stadium.

“It was a ridiculous game, and it sums up what football is all about,” said the defender.

“At half-time, I’ve probably never been as low for a long time. The lads were the same, as we weren’t playing our normal stuff.

“Missing a penalty affected me, and we were a bit lost after going two goals down at half-time. The way the lads have responded in the second half was unbelievable. It’s a massive result.

“Promotion has been something that we’ve been aspiring for in recent seasons, and a win to secure a play-off spot is a massive step towards that.

“Hopefully, we can continue that and try to go up.”

United secured a promotion play-off place with their win over Stoke, though Dawson, the club’s Under-21 coach, wants his team to push for the title.

“There’s a little bit of pressure off us now in the league, but like every game we play in, we’re playing to win it,” Dawson told nufc.co.uk.

“We weren’t playing to sit back and take a draw against Stoke knowing we would qualify for the play-offs.

“At 2-2, we were pushing another goal, and after scoring, we were still going for a fourth.”

Meanwhile, Bailey and his team-mates will take on Leeds United in a Premier League Cup semi-final at Guiseley on April 23 (7pm kick-off).