James Tavernier

By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter

On-loan full-back James Tavernier is currently sidelined with a knee injury, but is looking forward to returning soon to aid MK Dons' promotion push.

And the 20-year-old is eyeing up a first appearance at Wembley in the League One play-offs should Karl Robinson's side miss out on a top-two finish.

The Dons are currently in fifth place following a 4-1 home win over Leyton Orient on Tuesday night - a game Tavernier missed with the same complaint which had ruled him out of their previous three fixtures.

But the Bradford-born defender, who joined the Milton Keynes outfit on a season-long loan in January, should be back for the run-in - and is keen to play his part in helping his temporary team into the Championship.

"We're hoping we can get as many points as we can and get automatic promotion or go up via the play-offs, because Wembley would be another great way to get promoted," he told nufc.co.uk.

"We're doing really well at the moment, so hopefully we can just pick up more points. I played six games before my injury and we've been doing really well lately. It's been really good.

"It's really good football. They love passing the ball throughout the team, starting from the goalkeeper. You rarely see long balls, it's just a lot of passing, working the lines and creating loads of chances which obviously suits my style of football; getting up and down the pitch and playing."

Tavernier has already been loaned out to Carlisle and Sheffield Wednesday in the same division this term, but he was played in a more advanced role at Hillsborough and Alan Pardew was keen to see his young prospect given experience in his preferred position of right-back.

"That's where I want to be playing, and that's where the gaffer wants me to be playing," he explained.

"The main aim is to really concentrate on that position and work hard at it, and become the best that I can be in that position."

Another Newcastle loanee is at MK Dons too in the shape of Alan Smith, who has made nine League One appearances in recent weeks.

Tavernier said: "He was there a couple of days before me but it was a good person to see in the changing room straight away and obviously since I've been down there, I've been talking with Smudge.

"It's been good to have someone down there that I've known for a while now.

"I'm in an apartment down there and all settled in. They put me in really quickly, so it helped to settle me in. Smudger stays in a seperate place - he's a great guy but we're both old enough to live on our own!"

However, while he's been out of action Tavernier has returned to Newcastle on several occasions - including this month's derby against Sunderland.

And the highly-rated Yorkshireman has set his sights on being involved in a Tyne-Wear clash in the near future. 

He said: "That's one of the things you really aim for, derby games, and hopefully I will make an appearance in one of those derbies really soon.

"I'd love to do that."