Newcastle Under-21s were easily swept aside by League Two Shrewsbury as they suffered their second consecutive defeat in the EFL Trophy, leaving qualification for the knock-out stages virtually impossible.
The Shrews won 3-0, and despite Newcastle putting in a plucky effort to get back into the game in the second-half, despite already trailing 2-0, the result was all too easy for the home team.
Neil Redfearn has hardly set the place alight since assuming management duties for the U23 and U21 sides, with them only having two wins to their name this season.
If struggles continue Ben Dawson should replace Neil Redfearn
A summer overhaul behind the scenes at that level was supposed to make improvements to the second-string sides, but Newcastle seem to have gone backwards.
Redfearn claimed Newcastle “played well” to the Chronicle on Tuesday, irrespective of the scoreline, but results are everything in football, and after reaching the last eight of the Northern Section in the competition last season, this year’s campaign is a huge disappointment.
Redfearn also lamented the manner we conceded, claiming “the goals were poor”, but added playing a mid-table League One side, while having two young lads in midfield meant it was a “tough” first-half in a “difficult” game.
But things simply must improve for Redfearn, from whom big things were hoped for when he was appointed.
Next up is the Wear-Tyne derby away to Sunderland, and it would be no surprise if a defeat in that game sees Ben Dawson reinstalled as coach for the U23s, replacing Redfearn in the process.