Ryan McKinnon


By Dan King - Newcastle United Digital Editor

Tuesday night's FA Youth Cup quarter-final against Chelsea can't come soon enough for defender Ryan McKinnon.

St. James' Park will be the venue for the 7.05pm kick-off against the Blues, with Newcastle looking to win the trophy for the first time since Paul Gascoigne inspired the young Magpies to victory in 1985.

By contrast, Chelsea have lifted the cup twice in the last four years and will be slight favourites on Tyneside.

United, though, will be looking to make home advantage count having beaten Sunderland 4-0 at Gallowgate in the fourth round in front of a crowd of 3,501.

And Hexham-born centre-back McKinnon - whose idol is Chelsea skipper John Terry - insisted: "We can't wait.

"Obviously it's a massive game and we're just as excited as we were for the Sunderland game. That was a derby but this is a quarter-final.

"It's massive for us and we just want to give it everything."

That win over the Black Cats back in January, which featured a Jonathyn Quinn hat-trick and a strike from Adam Armstrong, was one of the highlights of McKinnon's young career so far.

He said: "It was the best game of my life; a dream come true.

"The fans were amazing and just made it even better.

"We've been really good throughout the competition. I didn't get a chance to play in it last year - we got knocked out straight away (against Arsenal) and I was injured, but this year it's been quality.

"I think we've got a much stronger side this year and we have a better chance as well."

Admission at St. James' Park on Tuesday, 11th March (kick-off 7.05pm) will be £3 for adults and £1 concessions