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Sørensen excited for Tyne-Wear derby

Written by Luke Vinton

Elias Sørensen says he's relishing the opportunity of playing against Sunderland as Newcastle United Under-23s host the Black Cats in Premier League 2 on Friday night.

There will be certainly no signs of affection from both sides when the two clubs go head-to-head at St. James' Park on Valentine's Day, with Newcastle's second-string aiming to record a third successive win following away victories at Swansea City and West Bromwich Albion.

Sørensen, who has been named on the bench for Newcastle's Emirates FA Cup clashes against Rochdale and Oxford United, believes United are facing their local rivals at the right time following their bright form in recent weeks. 

"I think everyone is buzzing for it," the Danish forward told nufc.co.uk. "It's a big game - a derby - against Sunderland at St. James' Park. We've played well in the last couple of weeks so hopefully we can take that into Friday's game.

"I think we've done very well in recent games. Ben (Dawson) and Liam (Bramley) are happy with the way it is going so hopefully we can keep the run going by beating them as well.

"All week, everyone has been talking about the big game on Friday. All the local lads are buzzing for it and saying we just can't lose! We shouldn't be getting sucked into the occasion, though, and just play the game like it's any other. We need to make sure we do the right things and do what we do every other week and hopefully we should be able to get the win.

"It'll be a very important game to keep on track for the play-offs. We got a good win in the Premier League Cup on Monday and we want to keep the run going to get into the play-offs so we have more games to play this season as we're not in all of the cup competitions.

"I think we're finding a bit of consistency at the minute. Back-to-back wins and clean sheets have been good for us. We've shut teams down at the back, which gives the forwards chances to go and win the game, which helps massively. 

After returning from a loan spell at Carlisle United during the first half of the season, Sørensen believes he is regaining the form he showcased last term, with the Denmark under-21 international scoring 20 goals in all competitions as Newcastle's youngsters reached the Premier League Cup final and Premier League 2 division two play-off final.

Sørensen has fond memories of facing Sunderland, too, after coming off the bench at St. James' Park last term to net his first goal at under-23 level in a 5-0 thrashing over their North East neighbours. 

The 20-year-old added: "I feel like I'm nearly back to what I was before I went out on loan. I lost a bit of fitness when I went away and didn't play as much as I wanted to but I feel like I'm nearly back to full fitness.

"It's always a nice feeling to score against Sunderland. It is a big derby and probably one of the biggest in the country. I came on when we were 4-0 up, which was a great feeling, and then to score my first goal for the under-23s was even better.

"I'll just look to try and do my best in the game and then, if the chance comes, hopefully I'll take it. I've just got to treat it like any other game."

Admission is free for season ticket holders and members, otherwise it's £3 for adults and £1 concessions.

"All week, everyone has been talking about the big game on Friday. All the local lads are buzzing for it and saying we just can't lose!"

Elias Sørensen

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