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Flaherty relishing Palace trip

Written by Luke Vinton

Stan Flaherty is aiming for Newcastle United Under-23s to end the year in winning fashion ahead of Monday's Premier League 2 encounter at Crystal Palace.

Chris Hogg's side take on their Eagles counterparts at Crystal Palace's Academy (kick-off 1pm), bidding to record back-to-back wins in Division Two for the first time this term.

The young Magpies kept their play-off hopes on course with an important 3-2 win against Stoke City and Flaherty, who has scored five goals and registered four assists in his last nine Premier League 2 matches, is hopeful of securing maximum points in the final game of 2020 for United's second-string.

The 19-year-old, who joined the Magpies' Academy from Arsenal in January, told nufc.co.uk: "Palace are a good side, like every team is at this level, and they are normally a physical side so we will have to be ready for that but we can definitely go there and get three points. We aren't going to be afraid of them.

"It's always important to get back-to-back wins, especially before the Christmas break, so it will be a tough game going down to London but we will be looking to come away with a good result."

After losing two consecutive home games against Norwich City and Wolverhampton Wanderers respectively, Flaherty was delighted to see Newcastle return to winning ways against Stoke, recording a goal and assist in the process.

The London-born midfielder, United's joint-top goalscorer across all competitions at second-string level this term, took plenty of encouragement from the win against the Potters and intends to continue his positive run of form.

"As an attacker, it's always important to get goals and assists and luckily I've been able to do that this season," the teenager added.

"I feel confident in front of goal whenever I get an opportunity so it was nice to get a goal and assist against Stoke, especially when you get the win to go with it. Hopefully, I can continue that and keep helping the team.

"We had a couple of bad results beforehand so it was good to get three points against Stoke. It became a tough game at the end after conceding two goals but we pulled through.

"There's not been that many times where we have scored three goals in one game this season so it was a good confidence boost. All of the front three scored (with Yannick Touré and Rodrigo Vilca also on target) and the goals we scored were well worked, playing out from the back. 

"We needed three points in that game after a few bad defeats, and with the table being so tight, maximum points will make a big difference. We'll be looking to go for three points again heading into the game against Crystal Palace."

"It's always important to get back-to-back wins, especially before the Christmas break, so it will be a tough game going down to London but we will be looking to come away with a good result."

Stan Flaherty

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