Alan Pardew predicts bright future for Newcastle's teenage midfielder Gael Bigirimana

 

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew is predicting big things for teenage midfielder Gael Bigirimana after seeing him turn in a mature Europa League display on Madeira.

The 18-year-old, a summer signing from Coventry, played the enforcing role in the middle of the field as Pardew's much-changed side battled their way to a 0-0 draw against Maritimo.

The manager said: "He is calm, isn't he? There were times when the game got too open, really, for us.

"We were trying to win it and leaving ourselves a bit open, and it was him nine times out of 10 who was shutting the door and then being calm and composed.

"This is a boy who is 18 years old. He has got a great future.

"You could criticise my selection in terms of experienced players here, but these guys, it's massive for them.

"As we go along and we got more options for me in terms of fitness, Bigi is going to play himself into being right in with a sniff even when everybody is back, like he did last night."

The Magpies started in lacklustre fashion at the Estadio dos Barreiros and might have been two down within minutes had keeper Rob Elliot, making just his second appearance for the club, not produced fine saves to deny Sami on both occasions.

However, it was the visitors who then took charge and Shola Ameobi twice and midfielder Dan Gosling were both thwarted by the woodwork.

But Elliot had to make late saves from Sami and substitute Goncalo, and David Santon headed defender Valentin Roberge's late effort on to his own crossbar in a last-gasp flurry.

Pardew, whose side face Bordeaux, who beat Club Brugge 4-0 last night, on Tyneside on October 4, is hoping successive home games will be key to their qualification hopes.

He said: "They are important games because we have got no travelling, so it will be just like a midweek game for us and I don't see any problem in selecting a team.

"After Bordeaux's result against Bruges, it is everything on the line for Bruges probably in our game. That's a very important game in terms of the league and we need to win it.

"But I am well-armed. We could still suffer a couple of injuries between now and that game - who's to say we are not going to lose any more players?

"I am just fingers crossed that some are going to come back and we will be stronger."

Maritimo boss Pedro Martins remains confident that Group D is still wide open.

He said: "It is open. Bruges lost to Bordeaux, so everything is open.

"We will go to Bruges to play a good game and to win, of course."

PA

Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
voicesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping the First Minister up at night?
Life and Style
techApple has just launched its latest mobile operating software – so what should you do first?
Arts and Entertainment
Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will voice Danger Mouse on CBBC
tv

Much-loved cartoon character returns - without Sir David Jason

Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Actor and director Zach Braff
tv

Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
Arts and Entertainment
tv

Arts and Entertainment
The former Doctor Who actor is to play a vicar is search of a wife
film

Matt Smith is set to join cast of the Jane Austen classic - with a twist

Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: An undercooked end (spoiler alert)
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona
filmWhat makes the little man tick?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
Sport
Cesc Fabregas celebrates his first Chelsea goal
footballChelsea vs Schalke match report
Arts and Entertainment
Toby Jones (left) and Mackenzie Crook in BBC4’s new comedy The Detectorists
tvMackenzie Crook's 'Detectorists' makes hobby look 'dysfunctional'
Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week