Nineteen years Young: Jack targeting derby day triumph
Written by Luke Vinton
Midfielder Jack Young is hopeful of celebrating his birthday with a victory as Newcastle United Under-23s face local rivals Sunderland on Monday night.
The young Magpies make the short trip to Eppleton Colliery Welfare on Monday night (kick-off 7pm BST) to face the Black Cats' second-string in Premier League 2.
And Young - who turns 19 on the day of the clash - is hopeful United's youngsters can secure maximum points on Wearside as they bid towards a division two play-off spot, with Neil Redfearn's side four points adrift of fifth place.
"As a local lad, it is one of the biggest games of the season," Young told nufc.co.uk. "You really look forward to playing in it and it's a one you mustn't lose but we really want to win and try to put on a good performance.
"It's also my birthday on the day so I'd like to get the win for a nice present. That would be ideal!
"These types of games do mean a lot to the group, especially with the team being based around a lot of local lads. Everyone knows how much it means and being a fan and watching the first team games through the years, you see the atmosphere and you really want to win these matches."
Newcastle enjoyed an impressive double over their arch rivals last term, thrashing Sunderland 5-0 at St. James' Park before earning a 3-2 win in their reverse fixture in which the young Magpies overturned a two-goal deficit.
Sunderland prop the league table after a winless start, losing six successive games but Young, who signed his first professional contract last summer, refuses to be carried away by the league positions and expects a firm clash given the fierce history between the two North east clubs.
The teenager added: "We'll have to battle well and with it being a derby, it should bring a bit extra on top of that. Hopefully, it will be a good atmosphere with a decent crowd there.
"The manager says the process is right at the minute. We believe if we can perform well then we should be able to get the right results. If we can start winning, we'll get closer to the play-offs which is the aim. I think the performances in the last couple of games have definitely merited more positive results.
"Sunderland haven't won in the league yet but I still think it will be a tight affair. Derby day brings everything and form goes out the window. It's certainly a game we want to perform well in and achieve a strong result.
"My first derby memory I can remember was when Newcastle beat Sunderland 5-1 and Kevin Nolan scored a hat trick. That's a one that sticks out - it was one of the best days!
"The fans were fantastic that day and when I was walking out of the stadium with my dad, they were constantly singing and throughout the streets. It shows how much games against Sunderland mean to the supporters. That's why you want to put on a good performance and win these kind of games."
Admission is £3 for adults and £1 concessions.
"These types of games do mean a lot to the group, especially with the team being based around a lot of local lads. Everyone knows how much it means."