Inclusion for the club's Reserve Player of the Year would certainly be endorsed by Jonny Evans, who skippered the young United team knocked out by Crystal Palace last season. The Northern Ireland international is looking forward to seeing more fledglings, including fellow defender Keane, link up with the first-team regulars.
Keane was in the senior squad for the wins against Galatasaray and Liverpool without making the bench but he will be hopeful of being involved against the Magpies.
"Last year, I was captain of the team that got beaten by Crystal Palace," Evans stated. "Although I don’t like saying that!
"It was an honour to be captain but we lost that game. It was quite a young side we had out that night but I’m sure the manager will juggle it and make sure he picks a team that can win the tie.
"We won the League Cup two years in a row not that long ago, because it was along the lines of the manager giving the young lads a chance and, to be fair, he did stick with it all along the way. It was the first trophy I won at the club and he stuck with the young players that time.
"I’m 24 now and I just feel like I’ve gained a lot of experience over the last couple of years. Hopefully I can pass that on."
When asked if any young hopefuls have particularly caught his eye, Evans was quick to praise England Under-19 international Keane.
"I’ve been really impressed with young Michael Keane," Evans added. "I think his brother has