Armstrong has been in impressive form recently, but John Carver has told the Chronicle why he might not be risking the youngster in the Tyne-Wear derby.
The temporary head coach said: “Armstrong had a little dip in form and suddenly he’s scored for the under-21s and for England and all of a sudden your confidence is back. He’s in a better place now on the back of his recent goals.
“You have to cope with the heat of the derby. It either makes or breaks you and I will decide if he’s right for it. I’ll make sure the situation is right for him.”
The 18-year-old striker has recently been in-and-around the first-team squad, and even made it onto the field during Newcastle’s loss with Arsenal.
Since then he has netted an impressive three goals in two games for England’s Under-18’s - the second game in which he captained the Young Lions - and his form has led many Magpies fans to plead for his inclusion in the Tyne-Wear derby this weekend.
However, for someone so young who has never played in such a game before, the intense surroundings could be too much. There is no doubt that he would love to score a wining goal against the Black Cats, being a local lad, but the youngster could be affected too much to start the tie.
Carver has not ruled out the chance of Armstrong playing a late role in the fixture, and the host of injuries in the Newcastle squad makes his inclusion a likely possibility. But Carver is surely right to not risk him from the start in such a high intensity fixture.