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Bondswell bidding to beat Blues on Monday

Written by Luke Vinton

Teenage defender Matt Bondswell is targeting a first Premier League 2 win of the season ahead of Newcastle United Under-23s' away trip to Birmingham City on Monday evening.

The young Magpies take on their City counterparts at Liberty Way, home of non-league outfit Nuneaton Borough, aiming for their first league win of the 2021/22 campaign (kick-off 7pm BST).

United's youngsters claimed a 1-1 draw in their opening Premier League 2 game of the season against Reading at Whitley Park, with the hosts finishing the Division Two clash with ten men following Tom Allan's red card but Bondswell is hopeful his side can register maximum points upon their trip to Warwickshire.

The 19-year-old left-back, who made his Newcastle first-team debut in a 3-2 pre-season friendly win at Doncaster Rovers last month, told nufc.co.uk: "We're all really looking forward to it (on Monday night).  

"I think we started the game well, particularly in the first-half, but we felt our performance levels dropped a little bit in the second. At the same time, we were left in two minds as a point was good considering we went down to ten men and we were on the back foot for the last 15 minutes.

"However, the way in which we conceded the goal was disappointing so we are looking forward to putting things right on Monday and build on our performance.

"It's fair to say it took us five or ten minutes to get our heads straight and put the penalty and red card behind us and concentrate on the remainder of the game. 

"Obviously, once that decision was made, we were going off raw emotion but at the same time we had to forget that and once we did, we got stuck in and made sure we kept the ball out of the net.

"One of the big things we spoke about before the game was making sure we had the right attitude and application. We definitely showed that, especially when we went down to ten men. We showed a lot of desire to not concede again after giving away the penalty."

The Nottingham-born defender, who has represented England at under-18 level, is determined for Newcastle's youngster to come out on top against their City counterparts, who were crowned Professional Development League National champions last term.

However, the former RB Leipzig youngster is expecting a difficult encounter against the newly-promoted outfit but believes the squad have more than enough quality to secure three points.

He added: "We did feel like it was two points dropped so we do want to put that right against Birmingham and show how good of a team we can be and how well we can play.

"We know that they'll be a good team. They're playing a different standard of teams this season than last year but we aren't going to be complacent just because they've come up into a new league.

"There's a lot of competition for places in every position. It does help that we were are a tight bunch and all really friendly with one another.

"If someone is or isn't in the team, there's no hard feelings but, at the same time, it's always good to look over your shoulders in training or after games that there is somebody pushing you for your position.

"It's a healthy thing and hopefully can improve performances on an individual or team basis. It will be helpful when we get deep into the season and everyone really becomes a part of the team."

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