Newcastle United youngster Tom Allan opens up on a 'very special' week and THAT Joelinton assist
Newcastle United youngster Tom Allan has reflected on a week that he believes will live with him for the rest of his life.
The 19-year-old made his senior debut as a substitute in the 4-1 win against Rochdale in an FA Cup Third Round replay at St James Park on Tuesday night.
With just under an hour on the clock, Allan was summoned by Steve Bruce and his coaching staff to be told that he would be replacing captain Jamaal Lascelles.
And in front of a whole host of his friends and family, the Cramlington-born forward made an impact on his senior bow as he provided the assist to give club record signing Joelinton his first goal at Gallowgate and his first in any game since he grabbed the winner in a 1-0 win at Spurs in late August.
The assist rounded off a lively performance from Allan, who recovered from some early nerves before coming to the fore in a dominant display against the League One side.
He told The Gazette: “It’s been a week that I will never forget and one that has been very special for me and my family.
“As every goal went in against Rochdale, I was chatting to myself on the bench and saying that my chance could be getting closer.
“People have asked me what the manager was saying to me as I was getting ready to go on.
“But, if I am honest, I can’t remember!
“I was in a little bit of a zone because this was my debut for my boyhood club.
“There were nerves, but after five minutes I settled in, and started doing what I usually do in training and in the under-23 side.
“There was a bit of a realisation in those five minutes that ‘wow, I am playing in front of Newcastle fans at St James Park’.
“But after that, you get down to reality and just try and get the job done.”
“Now, looking back, nobody can ever take that moment away from me.”
There were just eight minutes left on the clock when the youngster linked up well with another player that knows what it takes to come through the academy to help set up his side’s fourth and final goal of the tie.
After running on to a perfectly weighted pass from Andy Carroll, Allan did not break his stride as he picked out Joelinton in the area and the Brazilian slid the ball between the legs of goalkeeper Jay Lynch.
Allan admitted that there was some relief that his cross found the striker and expressed his hope that Joelinton will build on scoring his second goal in a United shirt.
Reliving the goal, Allan said: “Big Andy has held the ball up, so I have just made a run off him.
“I saw Joe in the middle and I think the crowd were doing everything they can to get him a goal.
“There was some relief because, luckily, I have put it in a nice place for him and he’s finished it well.
“Hopefully he can kick on from that now.”
Steve Bruce was on hand to watch Allan’s return to action on Friday afternoon as he found the net for United’s Under-23s’ side in their 1-1 draw against their Hull City counterparts at Whitley Park.
The youngster showed no nerves as he confidently dispatched a first-half penalty to put Ben Dawson’s side ahead against the Tigers.
Allan had been replaced by Adam Wilson by the time the visitors grabbed an equaliser to claim a point, but he had already done enough to shine in front of the United boss once again.
And after the game, Allan revealed what a big impact Bruce had made on him during his time training alongside the Magpies first-team over the last two weeks.
He explained: “If I am going to be playing under-23s, I have to be playing well and scoring goals.
“Everything should take care of itself then and I can focus on taking my chance in the first-team if it comes along.
“With him (Bruce) being a local lad, he knew what it meant to me on Tuesday night.
“After the game, everyone was buzzing for me in the changing room and the manager said in a couple of interviews that it couldn’t have gone much better.
“He’s a great manager, he’s easy to talk to and I know that if I needed anything, I shouldn’t hesitate to ask him.”
Allan could be in the United Under-23s’ squad when they travel to Northern League side Newcastle Benfield in the Northumberland Senior Cup quarter-final on Wednesday night.