Newcastle boss names four youngsters who make 'strongest group' ever

Alan Pardew believes his current playing squad is the strongest he has ever had at Newcastle.

The Magpies won their third consecutive game on Wednesday evening, with an historic 2-0 victory at Manchester City alleviating the pressure on Alan Pardew’s head.

The 53-year-old coach, who had won just five games in the 2014 calendar year - and none this season - heading into a tie with Leicester three games ago, has now moved his side out of the relegation places, and, if the Toon can achieve victory over faltering Liverpool tomorrow, the North Eastern side will be just one point behind the Merseyside club in the top half of the Premier League table.

Having suffered with injuries in the early part of the season, Pardew has been fortunate with the positive impact of returning stars - with Rolando Aarons and Ryan Taylor impressing in the League Cup win at City - and he told the Chronicle how his current group of players is undoubtedly the strongest he has ever had at St James’ Park.

Pardew said: “We think we have have a really good group of young players here. Four out of the academy played at Manchester City.

“Now without a shadow of a doubt – and I felt this even before we had these results – this is the strongest group I have had since I have been here. I probably said it earlier on.”

Rolando Aarons, Sammy Ameobi, Paul Dummett and Adam Armstrong all progressed through the academy in the North East, and all featured in the victory over City, whilst Ameobi netted his first ever goal for the Toon in the 2-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday. Pardew is happy to see all four progressing at a good rate, with goalkeeper Freddie Woodman also receiving praise from the manager.

“Aarons, Dummett, Armstrong, we have Freddie Woodman in goal as well, who is going to come through, I think,” he added.

“It’s only Sammy we have really waited for. The other three have sort-of made their progress very rapidly. Of all that four, they all have great talent and deserve to be in and around our team.”

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