The Magpies boss was close to including himself but did not feel this would have been right on this occasion considering how well others had done in training.
"Spike (Alex) is a great kid. He's trained with us all week," he said.
"He's been fantastic. I've said to the lads it would have been an injustice if I put myself on the bench because of how hard the lads have been training.
"When it's needed and when I'm ready I'll be there. At the minute, it's not needed.
"These lads are doing fantastically well. If I can help them in any way I will, but that's a decision the whole management will make."