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Tranmere Rovers 4 Newcastle United Foundation 1

Consistency is key for Newcastle United Foundation A’s National Football Youth League side as the Magpies’ search for their best form continues.

That’s the verdict of head coach Terry Mitchell after a 4-1 defeat at Tranmere Rovers in the North Premier Division.

The heavy loss followed hot on the heels of a battling 2-2 draw with title contenders Everton and a 7-3 thumping of Tranmere’s sister club in the Trophy.

“Consistency is the word right now,” said Mitchell. “One week we’re playing really well and the next we’re just not at the races.

“But that’s what you get with young players. The younger they are the more likely it is to happen.

“It’s something we’re very aware of this season and it’s just something that the lads need to learn to manage. Having built up some confidence this month the team just didn’t perform against Tranmere.”

Newcastle College student Kyle Elsdon scored both first half goals as the two sides went into half-time on level terms.

And Mitchell had no inkling of what was to follow in the second 45 as Rovers outclassed Newcastle.

“Tranmere went 1-0 up after Kyle attempted to clear a corner and it came off the back of his head and into our net,” added Mitchell.

“It could have been dealt with better but it was just one of those things. His equaliser turned out to be the highlight of the match for us – it was a team goal capped off by a cool finish.

“We made two quick passes through midfield and played a pinpoint cross into the box. Kyle took a great first touch and finished well.

“It was the best bit of football we played all day and meant we went into the break on level terms. What happened after that was poor all round. It wasn’t down to any individuals – or individual mistakes – because we just weren’t good enough across the park.”

But Newcastle have coped well with setbacks so far this season and Mitchell is anticipating another positive response when United return to Trophy action on Wednesday.

The Magpies have been drawn away to Norwich and will travel to East Anglia the previous evening in order to prepare fully for a testing clash.

“The lads will get the full away match experience and it’s all part of the learning process,” added Mitchell.

“We’ll leave after training on Tuesday, stay overnight and be rested and ready for a lunchtime kick-off down there.

“Whenever I’ve asked for a positive response this season I’ve got one and I have no reason to think that will be any different next week. The Trophy is a competition that we want to go far in and I’m confident we can.”

Newcastle United Foundation B were defeated 5-3 by Barnsley in their latest North Championship clash but a thrilling comeback encouraged Mitchell.

The Magpies were 4-0 down before Newcastle College rookie Marco Mackenley hit a 24-minute second half hat-trick.

“The lads showed great character at a time when Barnsley must have thought it was game over,” added Mitchell.

“To come back to 4-3 was a great response and they were looking for the equaliser when the opposition broke and scored their fifth.

“Marco deserves his place in the side after stepping up from the third team and he’s now training with the first team group. That’s what this programme is all about and it’s good to see players progressing.”

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