Newcastle United youngster Owen Bailey praised the club’s ‘amazing' supporters following his side’s defeat to Sunderland in the Checkatrade Trophy.
A crowd of 16,654 (including 2,780 Newcastle fans) attended the game at the Stadium of Light, as the Magpies’ under-21 side crashed out of the competition following a 4-0 defeat.
But despite the result, Bailey, 19, was blown away by the tremendous support from the travelling fans, who gave their side a standing ovation at the full-time whistle.
“I’ve grew up in Newcastle so I know what the fans are like, but it even took me by surprise to be fair,” said Bailey after the game.
“There was nearly 3,000 of them and they didn’t stop singing all game. Massive credit to them. I know it’s only a short journey, but to come on a Tuesday night for an Under-21 fixture is amazing. We can’t give them enough compliments.
“The hairs stand up on your neck when you come out and hear the noise. That’s the loudest I’ve ever come out to.
“There was a lot of passion in that game from both sets of fans. For us, it was the best atmosphere we’ve ever played in front of and the biggest attendance. It’s great for us going forward.”
Bailey has regularly captained Newcastle’s youth side in Premier League 2 and the Checkatrade Trophy this campaign, and was one of the Magpies’ standout performers against Sunderland.
The visitors held their own in the first half and went in level at the break, with Bailey playing a huge part in the heart of Newcastle’s back line.
Bailey made a series of important blocks and interceptions to keep Newcastle level, but was disappointed with the way his side fell away shortly after half-time.
Still, the defender believes the Magpies can take a lot of positives from the competition, after beating four Football League clubs, Notts County, Doncaster, Grimsby and Macclesfield, to reach the last 16.
“There are a lot of positives to take from the competition, although at the minute, with that result, it’s hard to see that,” added Bailey.
“You have to try to stay positive, and to be fair to the lads, we won three out of three in the group and beat some good sides like Doncaster, who are doing well in League One.
“We probably weren’t at our best against Macclesfield, but we still managed to get the result. If we’d have got a result today, it would have been even better but it wasn’t to be.”
Most of Bailey’s performances this season have come as a central defender but the teenager believes his best position is further forward in midfield.
Bailey would also be open to the idea of going out on loan to enhance his development and improve his chances of breaking into the first team.
“I’d probably say my favourite position is centre midfield, but to be honest, I’m just happy to do a job anywhere, wherever the team needs me,” added Bailey.
“That’s what’s happened this season to be honest, we’ve had quite a few injuries at centre midfield, centre-back and right-back.
“Ben (Dawson) seems to trust me in all those positions, and to be able to play in those positions is quite good because it gives you more chances going forward.”
When asked about going out on loan, Bailey added: “I’d definitely be open to a loan.
“We’ll sit down and have a look, but it’s something I’d like to do if the right offer came along.
“If the right move is there, hopefully I’ll be able to go out on loan. If not, I’ll just enjoy the rest of the season here and hopefully try to get a new contract here.”