Newcastle United coach Ben Dawson believes his side are starting to show real character after they battled hard to carve out a 3-2 win away to Grimsby.

The young Magpies fought back from an early goal from old boy JJ Hooper before hitting back and going on to take an impressive victory at Blundell Park.

Dawson’s side also scraped a last minute equaliser away to Southampton to earn a 1-1 draw on the South Coast on Friday night in the League Cup.

After beating the Mariners, Dawson said: “We had to show all of those skills like character, resilience and togetherness to get back in the game.

“This group have got that in abundance.

“We played our way into the game and scored two terrific goals in terms of what we’d worked on.

“We could be a bit more critical in terms of game management.

“We had to work out whether we could continue playing or get in behind them more.

“We did well for the most part but it was a fantastic win and great to get three wins in the group stages.”

Goals from Cal Roberts, Elias Sorensen and Matty Longstaff won the club’s final Group G game in North-East Lincolnshire which set up a home tie at St James’ Park in the last 32.

Dawson said: “We worked on a few things from training like playing through the lines.

“We tried to get our number 10 the ball more but the preparation in the Southampton game helped the lads a lot.

“The conditions were horrendous down there.

“They kept plugging away down there and got a reward at the end of the game.

“It proved to them they could dig in and do things they aren’t used to.”