Sangare targeting promotion with young Magpies
Written by Luke Vinton
Midfielder Mo Sangare is hopeful Newcastle United Under-23s can get off to a strong start in their Premier League 2 campaign ahead of the young Magpies' division two opener at Reading.
Neil Redfearn's side kick off their season at the Royals' training ground, Hogwood Park, with United aiming to replicate an impressive season last term after reaching the Premier League Cup final and Premier League 2 division two play-off final.
Although Sangare, who made his senior international debut for Liberia in March, admitted his enthusiasm for the upcoming season, the central midfielder revealed his personal targets ahead of Monday's clash.
The 20-year-old told nufc.co.uk: "Pre-season has been very good for the squad and it looks like all the lads are ready for the game on Monday. We are looking to go into that game and hopefully get a positive result. I'm looking forward to it.
"It's always important to get a strong start to the season. If you can start well, it can influence your season. If you start poorly, you don't have too much to look forward to in the long run. Having a strong start in the league will make other sides take notice and think 'they are back on it again'.
"Last season was a good one for the majority of the squad but, personally for me, it was not the best. Although it was a good year, I had a few ups and downs which you should expect anyway. However, I'm looking forward to what the season brings and I'm excited to start the season.
"I have a point to prove at this point of my career. This is a crucial year for me if I want to continue going further."
Newcastle's second-string faced Reading on four occasions last season, notching three away victories against the Royals, which included a penalty shoot-out victory in the Magpies' Premier League 2 division two play-off semi-final at the Madejski Stadium.
With United's second-string missed out on the Premier League 2 division two title by three points to Wolverhampton Wanderers, Sangare believes his side are more than capable of securing promotion as well as setting a strong example for the club's future Academy products.
Sangare added: "Reading are a good team who know what they are doing. From what I've seen after playing them, they can't cope under pressure. We need to have a game plan and be able to do what we managed to do last year. It's not an easy game.
"It's about setting standards. After doing very well last season, we need to kick on from there. We shouldn't let the bar drop any lower and we know the standards that we can set for the younger ones coming through the ranks.
"The team is a lot stronger than last year but that doesn't give an excuse to say no one is good enough. Everyone is good enough within our squad so I think we have a strong chance to try and gain promotion.
"We also have a very good coach in Neil (Redfearn). We all get along with him very well and I'm looking forward to seeing what he has in store for us. The levels of training has been high, regardless of him coming in. The vibes are very positive and after coming in, he is getting to know players really well."