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In-form Charman looking forward to Tyne-Tees tussle

Written by Luke Vinton

Striker Luke Charman is eager to continue his bright form in front of goal as Newcastle United Under-23s host their Middlesbrough counterparts on Monday night.

The young Magpies face Boro at Whitley Park (kick-off 7pm GMT) aiming for back-to-back wins in Premier League 2 following a 2-0 triumph against local rivals Sunderland at Eppleton.

Charman, who scored the opening goal from the penalty spot against the Black Cats, believes Newcastle's second-string can take plenty of positives from their derby win as they aim to secure maximum points in division two against another local rival.

The 21-year-old told nufc.co.uk: "I think the derby makes it a bit more important but every league game is important for us at the minute as we need to be picking up more points than we have been.

"Getting our second clean sheet of the season against Sunderland was something we had been building towards and our recent performances have deserved that. If we can build on from that, then we should be able to do well.

"I remember playing Middlesbrough a few years ago and they were a good team but, in my opinion, if we can play our best football and keep it tight at the back I don't think there are any teams we couldn't beat. Obviously, that relies on us playing well.

"I think the amount of chances that we created against Sunderland was positive. We could have scored five or six and I could have had three goals myself! Everything came together in the second half and we controlled the game.

"They were down to ten men and a goal down but I think we managed the game really well and limited their chances."

Charman netted his fourth goal in seven games in all competitions against the Black Cats and is determined to add further towards his goalscoring tally.

The Newcastle-born forward also highlighted the team's desire for clean sheets this term after shutting out Sunderland to record a second clean sheet in their last three games.

The striker added: "It's a confidence thing. I know I am going to get chances, whether that's from people making them for me or doing it by myself. Hopefully, I can kick on from this now and keep scoring more goals to help the team out as much as I can.

"When the season started, I wanted to try and score a goal every game. It sounds a bit unrealistic but sometimes if I don't score, I feel like I haven't played well so that's what I base my game on more than anything else. 

"In terms of clean sheets, we need to look at that and try to chase that again. If we don't concede in a game, I'm sure we have enough talent up front to score. That has to be the first objective in looking to shut out the opposition, not giving them any chances and trying to control the game." 

Tickets for the game at Whitley Park are available at the turnstiles, priced at £3 for adults and £1 for concessions. Admission is free for season ticket holders and members.

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