Steve Bruce watches on as Peruvian maestro, ex-Arsenal forward and former Chelsea kid put on Newcastle United show

Steve Bruce was an interested spectator at St James’s Park as Newcastle United under-23s staged a late comeback from a goal down to beat Fulham in the Premier League 2, Division 2.

Monday, 19th October 2020, 7:00 am
Updated Monday, 19th October 2020, 10:27 pm
Newcastle United's English head coach Steve Bruce (L) and Manchester United's Norwegian manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer speak before the English Premier League football match between Newcastle United and Manchester United at St James' Park in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, north east England on October 17, 2020.

And it’s fair to say he cannot fail to have been impressed by what he saw from THREE Magpies youngsters – two of whom were signed this summer.

Our Newcastle United writer Liam Kennedy was at SJP for kids’ 2-1 win and has picked out a trio of stars from the encounter.

Rodrigo Vilca

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The physical side of the game is something many experts have pointed towards in claiming Peruvian Vilca is not ready for English football. On this evidence, he looks more than ready.

Early on he took a few hits and still came back for more. A first-half dive gained nothing bar a stern look from the referee and from then on Vilca remained on his feet, unless chopped down by a Fulham shirt, which he was consistently throughout this encounter.

Vilca was always in search of the ball, playing between the lines of midfield and attack. His pace caused problems and his swift footwork got him out of seemingly unworkable positions.

Not as physically weak as some would have you believe – and a No10 full of talent. It’s early doors, but Vilca already looks like he’s got the tools to do a job at Newcastle in the not too distant future.

Stan Flaherty

A special, special goal won the game, but this was just the icing on the cake of what was a bright show from the right.

Flaherty cut in from the right at will, causing problems with his left foot threat.

At 18 there is a lot to like about the summer signing from Arsenal.

Kyle Scott

Returning from a long-term injury, former Chelsea kid Scott slotted into the midfield alongside fellow returnee Matty Longstaff. And while it is unfair to compare the two, Scott was, on the day, more lively.

Fulham saw Scott as the dangerman, with many of United’s attacks emanating from the busy creator, and acted to hit him early, drawing a number of fouls either side of half time.

Scott used the ball well and even recycled it with some timely tackles and interceptions. A positive show.