Fergie: Fledglings will earn their wings for Newcastle

Newcastle United's Shane Ferguson
Newcastle United's Shane Ferguson

SHANE Ferguson says the kids are all right at Newcastle United – and they’ll prove it against Bordeaux.

Alan Pardew will field a youthful side at the Stade Chaban-Delmas tomorrow night.

And Ferguson, 21, is expected to come into Pardew’s starting XI for what is the club’s final Europa League group game.

Both Newcastle and Bordeaux are assured of a place in the competition’s Round of 32.

However, the winner of Group D, which the home side lead by a point, will avoid meeting a club which has been knocked out of the Champions League in the next stage.

Ferguson came off the bench in Monday night’s 3-0 win over Wigan Athletic.

That result ended a run of four successive domestic defeats, and Ferguson doesn’t see why United can claim a victory in Europe and win their group – whatever team Pardew fields in France.

“It’ll be a chance for a lot of youngsters,” Ferguson told the Gazette. “With the injuries, there’ll be even more young boys involved.

“Hopefully, we can go there and get a result.

“We want to win every game. We know if we don’t win it, we’ll get a harder team in the next round with the Champions League teams dropping down.”

Versatile Ferguson replaced Davide Santon against Wigan after the left-back suffered a groin injury.

While Pardew expects Santon to be fit for Monday night’s visit to Fulham, Ferguson is determined to show he’s ready to be called upon at Craven Cottage, if needed.

“Hopefully, it’s not too bad – he’s an important player for the team,” he added.

“Whenever I get a chance, I just want to take it and impress as much as I can.

“I’m comfortable playing wherever the manager needs me. I just want to get fitter and stronger, and progress from there.

“I played against (Bordeaux) at home. To play in Europe against big teams is fantastic for young lads. It’s benefiting me to get this experience.”

While United remain 14th in the Premier League after the Wigan result, it saw them move five points clear of the relegation zone.

And the relief was palpable – on and off the pitch – after the game.

Demba Ba opened the scoring from the spot after a controversial penalty decision – and red card for Maynor Figueroa – from referee Mike Jones early in the match. Ba added another later in the half, and Gael Bigirimana sealed the win with a stunning second-half goal.

“Before the game, we knew how important it was to get a result,” said Ferguson.

“The lads put in a performance, and were glad to get the three points.

“We knew we had a couple of bad games, and there was a lot of pressure on us. The lads were focused all week in training, and they were fantastic.

“I was really happy to get on and get a bit more experience under my belt.

“The crowd’s always fantastic, and they helped us a lot. It’s always great to play at St James’s Park.

“The red card was a bit harsh, but it was one of those nights. It was good for us, and we took our chances. Thankfully, Demba put it in the back of the net. He’s been fantastic all season.”

On midfielder Bigirimana’s strike, he added: “That’s the first time I’ve ever seen him do that!

“But it’s brilliant for him. He’s a young lad, and I’m really happy for him to get his first goal in the Premier League.

“All the lads were happy for him.”