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Dawson: Asia Trophy test is no summer friendly

16 Jul 2019
Ben Dawson

Newcastle coach says Premier League tournament match against Wolves will be nearly as competitive as a top-flight fixture

Newcastle United's Premier League Asia Trophy semi-final against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Wednesday will be nearly as competitive as a Premier League fixture, says Academy head of coaching Ben Dawson.

Dawson and Under-23s head coach Neil Redfearn will be in charge in Nanjing, China as Newcastle's new head coach Steve Bruce flies out to meet the squad.

A spot in Saturday's final against one of Manchester City or West Ham United awaits the Magpies if they can beat a Wolves team they held to a 1-1 draw at Molineux last season.

"With it being a competitive fixture, it'll have a bit more edge than the usual friendlies do at this stage," Dawson told the club’s official website.

"They will be on a real high from the momentum they gained from the end of last season.

"They are looking forward to Europa League fixtures also so I expect it will be a really tough game in difficult conditions." 

Newcastle are appearing at the Premier League Asia Trophy for the second time, having finished as runners-up behind Chelsea at the inaugural tournament in 2003.

Dawson says the Newcastle squad, which includes two Asian players in Yoshinori Muto and Ki Sung-yueng, are grateful for the chance to showcase their football to their overseas supporters.

"It’s a great opportunity for the players to show their appreciation for the fanbase out here," he added.

"We have already seen some of them at the hotel to greet us and I'm sure they will all make the most of it." 

Premier League Asia Trophy matches

Wednesday 17 July, Nanjing Olympic Sports Center 
Newcastle v Wolves, kick-off 18:00 (11:00 BST)
Man City v West Ham, kick-off 20:30 (13:30 BST) 

Saturday 20 July, Hongkou Football Stadium, Shanghai 
Third/fourth place playoff, kick-off 17:00 (10:00 BST)
Final, kick-off 19:30 (12:30 BST)

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