Newcastle United coach Peter Beardsley is delighted with the number of young players making their mark on the first team.
Under-21s chief Beardsley has watched as several of his squad have become involved with Steve McClaren’s side over recent weeks.
The more we can get through, the betterPeter Beardsley
Jamie Sterry, Liam Gibson, Freddie Woodman, Dan Barlaser and Callum Williams were all part of the party that jetted out to La Manga, in Spain, for a week-long training camp.
Gibson started the friendly against Lillestrom on Saturday, playing 82 minutes at left-back, while Sterry and Woodmen were half-time substitutes, and Barlaser came on late in the game.
Sterry’s cross set up the winning goal for another academy graduate, Rolando Aarons, and with McClaren’s first team squad still suffering from a number of injuries - especially in defence - there’s a chance the youngsters could be involved in Premier League in the next couple of weeks.
It has meant Beardsley’s resources have been depleted in recent weeks, and his young side suffered a 3-0 defeat at Fulham on Monday night.
But he insists he’s happy to keep pushing youngsters forward to McClaren.
Asked if he’d relish having some players more available for the U21s, Beardsley said: “If I’m being selfish, yes, but to be honest it doesn’t bother me in the sense that if Jamie Sterry stays with the first team and gets the chance to be around them, that’s great.
“I believe ‘Gippa’ (Gibson) did well in Spain, so who knows - he might be involved with them and if he is, it’s another great bonus.
“That’s our job. We’ve had Kevin Mbabu break through this season; Rolando (Aarons), Fred (Woodman) has been with (the first team) for most of the season, Jamie Sterry has been with them a lot and Dan Barlaser and Cal Williams went to La Manga as well.
“So the more we can get through, the better.”