McClaren’s response when asked if Freddie Woodman is ready to play for Newcastle

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Newcastle may have to call upon Freddie Woodman this coming weekend.

Woodman may be thrown into Premier League action for Newcastle this coming weekend, and Steve McClaren has told the Chronicle that he is not sure the goalkeeper is ready to turn out for the Magpies yet.

When asked if Woodman is good enough to play yet, McClaren said: “If called upon we’ll soon find out. And you don’t know until you throw them in – and that’s with any player. We said the same about Kevin Mbabu and he came in and did the job. Freddie might have to too.”

Woodman has been playing second fiddle to Rob Elliot due to the injuries to Tim Krul and Karl Darlow, but Elliot was also injured in the weekend’s draw with Stoke, meaning that young Woodman may have to start for Newcastle this coming weekend.

The Magpies take on Bournemouth, struggling for form right now, and the 18-year-old stopper could be thrown in to his first taste of Premier League action against the Cherries.

He is highly rated, but McClaren has admitted that he is unsure if Woodman is yet cut out for the Premier League, and the head coach may have no choice but to play him even if there are doubts about his abilities.

McClaren references the case of Kevin Mbabu, who many doubted as being good enough for senior football before being thrown in at the deep end against Chelsea. And Mbabu far outperformed what was expected of him, being arguably Newcastle’s best player during that game.

Until playing, it is almost impossible to tell if a player will be good enough for the Premier League, and this coming weekend could be the making of Woodman if Elliot is not recovered back to full fitness in time for the trip to Bournemouth next Saturday.

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