Barrett bidding for back-to-back wins
Written by Luke Vinton
Defender Ryan Barrett is targeting successive Premier League 2 victories with Newcastle United Under-23s for the first time this term ahead of Sunday's trip to Aston Villa.
The young Magpies head into their penultimate Division Two clash of the 2020/21 campaign, held at the Bodymoor Heath Training Ground (kick-off 2pm), in a confident mood following a 2-0 victory against Crystal Palace on Monday afternoon.
Barrett, who played the full 90 minutes against the Eagles as well as playing alongside Fabian Schär during the first-half, as the Swiss centre-back continued his recovery from a knee injury, is aiming to produce a similar performance against their Villans counterparts.
"I thought we definitely deserved the win against Crystal Palace," the 19-year-old right-back told nufc.co.uk. "We have had times where we've played better but we have shown that we can defend well, coming away with a clean sheet, and still put our chances away so we're looking to take that into the game against Villa.
"When that first goal went in, it eased everybody getting the lead before half-time. We went out in the second-half and did the same again which was good.
"It's only the second clean sheet we've had this season so that was massive for us. We've been working really hard in training, particularly in defence, and that seems to be showing.
"Fabian trained with us the day before the game and that's when we found out he was playing. With his experience, it was really good to play alongside him and very good for the whole team."
Newcastle's second-string currently sit in 12th place on 24 points and take on a Villa side aiming to avoid a fourth successive league victory.
It has been a difficult season for United's youngsters, who reached the 2019 Premier League 2 Division Two play-off final as well as looking on course for last term's play-off spots before the coronavirus outbreak, but Barrett believes a strong finish to the season can stand the squad in good stead heading into the following campaign.
"Every game is a one we can learn from," the Wrexham-born defender added. "We're very focussed on finishing the season on a high. It hasn't been the best one for us, results-wise, so if we can get through to the end of the season with a couple of wins, that would be great for us.
"We know it hasn't been the best season. We all know that and where we are in the table but football gets like that. It's about what you can do to react and what you can work on to change things around before next season and go back to how we were."