Newcastle United coach makes ‘feisty’ Sunderland admission after historic victory

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Newcastle United Women could be drawn against Sunderland in the third round of the FA Cup.

Newcastle United Women manager Becky Langley has talked about the possibility of a Tyne-Wear derby against Sunderland in the next round of the FA Cup.

The Lady Magpies advanced into the third round after a 2-1 win over National League Division One North counterparts Barnsley in front of a record-breaking St James’ Park crowd of 28,565.

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United trailed through Emily Pierrepont’s 15th-minute opener but stunning second half goals from Georgia Gibson and Sharna Wilkinson flipped the game on its head.

And with Championship clubs entering the competition for Monday’s regionalised thirdround draw, Langley has set her sights on facing rivals Sunderland. The Black Cats are currently two divisions higher.

“We all dream of playing against a WSL club,” Langley said. “I’d love to be on the side of the pitch coaching against a Emma Hayes at Chelsea but I think everybody in this room would love Sunderland and have that derby we know would be feisty.

“We want a big team, we want to play against the best. Playing against some Lionesses players would be outstanding.”

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In May, over 22,000 was in attendance as Langley’s side marked their St James’ Park debut with a 4-0 win over Alnwick Town. That figure was surpassed against Barnsley - setting a new attendance record for a Women’s FA Cup match outside a final.

“It’s absolutely brilliant,” Langley reacted. It’s an incredible turnout. We need to remember this is two four-tier sides playing against each other and Newcastle fans just don’t seem to care about the level. They just want to support any team that is playing in black and white.

“The numbers are absolutely tremendous. It’s just Newcastle fans having that absolute passion for football and the North East came out in their numbers. I’m just so proud.

“Can you imagine how many people would be here if we were playing in the WSL? Honestly, I think we’d pack the stadium out every other week. It’s just brilliant. We’re hoping there is another game at the end of the season and we want to be top of that league. Imagine lifting the trophy here at St James’ Park with a packed stadium? I think that’s what we have got to be aiming for.”

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On the victory, Langley added: “To be one-nil down for such a long time, the character of the players after half-time to really kick on. I’m just so delighted for the players, especially the two that scored. It was a brilliant strike from Georgia to get us level and we kind of needed something like that to get the momentum back on our side.

“We’ve made the substitution with Sharna and Millie (Bell) coming on and I’m just absolutely delighted for Sharna. She’s a player I’ve worked with for a lot of years now. We’ve seen her strike a ball like that so many times and some of them don’t come off but to see that hit the back of the net, I’m just so pleased for her.”

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