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Cross bidding to beat Baggies

Brad Cross is targeting a first win of 2021 with Newcastle United Under-23s ahead of Monday's Premier League 2 visit of West Bromwich Albion (kick-off 2pm GMT).

The young Magpies host their Baggies counterparts at United's Little Benton Academy and can leapfrog Albion with a much-needed victory in Division Two.

Cross, who joined United last summer following a successful trial, is confident of exacting revenge against Albion following an unfortunate defeat in October.

The 20-year-old defender, a representative of South Africa at under-20 level, told nufc.co.uk: "It's going to be a very important game for us. We haven't been getting the right results in the last couple of games (losing to Crystal Palace and Burnley) so hopefully we can get the three points and get back on the right path.

"We played them away and we lost 1-0. I am confident we can beat them at home though because it was a very tight match and they scored at the end of the game. We had chances but we didn't take them at the end of the day. If we can play well, we should be able to get the victory."

With both teams situated at the foot of the table, the versatile defender expects another tight encounter as Newcastle's youngsters aim to narrow the gap on the Division Two play-off spots.

Currently eight points adrift but with a number of games in hand, the versatile defender is hopeful his side can start picking up a string of positive results to keep their promotion hopes alive.

"We are both in a similar situation so both teams will be sceptical of how the game is going to go," the former Schalke 04 loanee added. "We've been training really hard, with our games being called off for the past couple of weeks.

"It's important for us as a team, and individually, to finish the season strongly. Nobody is going to look at a team who isn't winning so we've all come together and been training hard. We're heading into that game trying to win.

"I think we've been gelling better as a team everyday. There's been a few injuries coming up but with everyone that is new here, we're all getting to know each other very well and hopefully we can achieve some good results in the games coming up."

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