Lee Clark urges caution over Newcastle United's talented youngsters

St James Park

Former Newcastle United star Lee Clark has urged Steve McClaren to utilise the club's youth system.

Former Newcastle United star Lee Clark has told the Chronicle that he wants to see Steve McClaren using more younger players in his first team.

Clark has suggested that the youngsters at the club have a big role to play in the immediate future of the side, but he’s stressed McClaren has to be careful over when to introduce younger players into the first team.

The Newcastle academy has done some good work with the likes of Adam Armstrong scoring goals for fun on loan with Coventry City in League One.

“I’d like to any local lads who are good enough representing the club and making it successful again,” he told the Chronicle.

“You have to be good enough and it’s no good just throwing them in just because they are local.”

“If they aren’t good enough and can’t deliver what’s required in the first time then you can’t play them.”

A fine balance

It’s a difficult situation for McClaren because on the one hand, the only way the club’s younger players are going to improve, is by playing competitive first team football.

On the other hand, at times last season, it was evident just how harsh and passionate the support around the club can be and younger players are more vulnerable mentally when things aren’t going well.

The youngsters can be a good source of fresh faces for McClaren to draw on throughout the season, but he can’t get it wrong because the stakes in terms of Newcastle needing to stay in the top flight have never been higher.

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