'We had to dig in' - Mark Jackson pleased by duo in battling Leeds United Under-23s victory over Newcastle

The Whites defeated Newcastle United on Monday afternoon at Thorp Arch.

Monday, 15th March 2021, 5:30 pm
Leeds United Under-23s head coach Mark Jackson. Pic: LUFC

Leeds United Under-23s boss Mark Jackson was left pleased by his side's ability to 'dig in' amid a 'big test' against Newcastle United.

The top of the table Whites hosted the bottom-placed Magpies at Thorp Arch with Leeds running out 2-1 winners in the Premier League 2 Division 2 clash.

United defender Robin Koch - who had been missing since early December with a knee problem - featured in competitive action for the first time this year, completing 45 minutes.

Sign up to our Leeds United newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Whites youngster Joe Gelhardt opened the scoring from the penalty spot to bag his eighth goal in 14 league matches this term.

Captain Charlie Cresswell added a second with a powerful header from an Ian Poveda corner before Newcastle pulled a goal back through Christian Atsu.

United were forced to manage the game in the second half with the Magpies applying plenty of pressure which saw goalkeeper Elia Caprile pull off three impressive saves.

Leeds, though, held firm to secure victory and move within two wins of promotion to the top division.

"It was a difficult game against a very good side in Newcastle," Jackson said post-match.

"They put us under a lot of pressure. It's pleasing to get the three points in the end. It was a really big test and I'm glad the lads stood up strong to it.

"Newcastle pushed us right to the end. We played against them earlier in the season and we gave up a three goal lead.

"We've learnt some lessons. We had to dig in. There were some big saves from Elia [Caprile] at big moments."

Asked about Gelhardt and the returning Sam Greenwood, he added: "It's pleasing to see them back. They impacted the game.

"Joffy [Gelhardt] got the penalty and stood up there to slot it home. That was pleasing. There were a lot of good aspects but also lots we can work on and credit has to go to Newcastle for that, they put us under pressure.

"It created a good, competitive game but it was pleasing to get the points. It's what we need at this stage of the season."