ADAM Armstrong says his performance against the might of Manchester City last week has given him confidence he can perform on any stage.
The 17-year-old striker made his second senior start for Newcastle United at the Etihad Stadium, and helped his side to a 2-0 win.
Armstrong did not look out of place as he played a lone striker role against experienced defensive pair Martin Demichelis and Eliaquim Mangala.
It was quite some baptism for the highly-rated teenager, with Demichelis having played in a World Cup final and Mangala costing City £32m.
However, he performed well before being withdrawn 20 minutes into the second half, and says the experience gave his confidence a huge boost.
Armstrong said: “Playing against experienced centre-halves against Man City, you know what you’re going to come up against.
“People are stronger and people are really big, so I’ve just got to put myself about.
“I’ve played against them now, so I think I can play against pretty much anyone now.”
Armstrong faces some fierce competition to force his way into Newcastle’s first-team on a regular basis, with Papiss Demba Cisse and Ayoze Perez both firing, and Emmanuel Riviere waiting in the wings.
Because of that, there is some pressure for the academy graduate to perform well at Under-21 level when selected, and Armstrong did just that on Monday by scoring a brace in a 5-0 win over Aston Villa at St James’s Park.
He is happy with the form Cisse and Perez have showed, and has welcomed the competition for places.
Armstrong added: “It is always great playing at St James’s Park. We got the win against Villa 5-0, the lads put a real shift in and to get another two goals was another big boost for me.
“I want to keep pushing on, keep getting the goals and hopefully I can push in the first-team squad.
“Every striker has got to score goals to be where they have got to be.
“For me to score two on Monday was amazing.
“Papiss and Ayoze are pitching in for the first team, so there’s nothing better. It’s class.”
Armstrong lined up alongside Facundo Ferreyra up-front against Villa, and he has backed his fellow striker to come good.
The 23-year-old has not made a competitive appearance for Newcastle’s first-team since joining on loan from Shakhtar Donetsk in the summer, but Armstrong enjoys playing with him.
He said: “I train with him every day and I know what he is like.
“He is a big, strong lad, and I just played off him (on Monday) and it worked, so there’s nothing better.”