Newcastle United under-23s players praised for 'sticking together' during Middlesbrough win

Kevin Richardson has praised his Newcastle United under-23s players for sticking together during their 4-1 win over Middlesbrough.

The young Magpies headed into Friday night’s Premier League 2 clash with Boro at St James’s Park on a five-match losing streak.

However, they managed to put that poor run behind them by defeating their Tyne-Tees rivals, courtesy of goals from Charlie Wiggett, Elliot Anderson, Dylan Stephenson and Cain Sykes’ own goal.

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Richardson, currently in charge of the under-23s as the club searches for a permanent successor to Chris Hogg, said: “I was very impressed considering it was a derby game.

St James's Park, the home of Newcastle United Football Club. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

“The previous games I’ve taken charge of, we’ve played well in the first-half, we’ve been in front and one or two individual errors got the opponents back into the game.

“It was a shame because they did well in those games, even though the result might have said otherwise.

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“It was a derby game and the mental side of it was going to be tough and I said we’ve got to stick together.

“That’s what they did in a great manner.”

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After Hogg departed for MK Dons, Gary Caldwell was in caretaker charge for just 21 days.

Richardson is counting to hold the fort.

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He added: “Players put their bodies on the line with blocks. Dan (Langley) made some good saves. That’s all part of the game.

“It’s pleasing for whoever the coach is to see that. It’s also good for the group of players as it gives them belief and more confidence.

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“That’s the only thing you can try and do. It’s for the players to help them as much as we can.”