Fernandez wants first taste of Tyne-Wear derby
Written by Tom Easterby
As Newcastle United Under-23s get set to face local rivals Sunderland, teenage winger Victor Fernandez says he can’t wait for his first Tyne-Wear derby.
The Premier League International Cup quarter-final draw paired the two north east teams together, and they will meet under the lights at the Stadium of Light on Wednesday night (7pm kick-off).
For Fernandez, who joined the Magpies from Cornella last season, it could be his first derby experience since making the move to St. James’ Park.
And the 19-year-old told nufc.co.uk that the fact the tie is a local affair gives him and his team “extra motivation” to progress.
“It would be the first time I have played against Sunderland, and I know about the rivalry that Newcastle and Sunderland have. It will be a tough game,” he said. “All the lads say that it's going to be a big game, so we must win.
“These games against Sunderland are so big, and the fans know all about the rivalry. It will be an extra thing for us and it would be a great game to play in.
“All the games make you feel excited, but of course if you know there is such a rivalry between the teams it is an extra motivation to play.”
Fernandez will compete with the likes of Callum Roberts and Callum Smith for a starting berth on the wing at the Stadium of Light.
And the youngster – whose last goal came in the 3-1 win over PSV Eindhoven in January – feels he has adapted quickly to the English game, though he hopes to become a more regular name on the scoresheet.
“You always have to train hard in training and make sure your individual performances in games are good, so I hope I can be in the starting team on Wednesday,” he said.
“Since I came I think I am getting used to English football more and more because it is different to Spanish football. Now I think I’m getting used to it – people tackle you and you have to pass the ball quickly.
“I feel OK, and I have got a couple of assists. I am happy, but I would like to score more goals.”
The Magpies are still fighting on three fronts, with silverware up for grabs in the Premier League International Cup, the Premier League Cup and the Northumberland Senior Cup.
“The good thing is that we are still alive in the cups and we are doing really well in them,” said Fernandez. “We will try to get all of them, or some of them – that would be nice.
“We have played against teams from around the world, big teams, and it will be very nice to win it. But it will be very hard, because there is some very good teams in it also.
“We are also in the Northumberland Senior Cup and the Premier League Cup, so of course we are motivated because we want to win a trophy. There is still motivation for us to win games.
“We are still together – we still have things to win.”