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Touré eyeing victory against Villa

Written by Luke Vinton

With the Premier League 2 play-off spots in reach, Yannick Touré says Newcastle United Under-23s must carry on their impressive form ahead of Friday's crunch clash against Aston Villa.

The young Magpies face their Villa counterparts at Whitley Park (kick-off 7pm GMT) and, with four league fixtures remaining, can move into the division two play-off spots for the first time this term with a much-needed victory.

With Villa lying three points adrift of United's youngsters, with a game in hand, Touré - who has represented Switzerland at under-20 level - is eager for United's second-string to continue their seven-game winning streak in all competitions as the latter stages of the season approach for Chris Hogg's side.

"It's a very important game for the team," the 19-year-old told nufc.co.uk. "We have had a very good flow of results in the last few weeks, winning many games and I think we just have to keep going like that, with the same mentality and effort. Hopefully, we can get into the play-offs at the end of the season.

"It's not that normal to play seven games and win them all, with no draws or losses. That's been very good for us as a team and gives us all lots of confidence. At the start of the season, we had a bad start but it's now going very well at the moment and we hope to continue that.

"It's motivating that we could move into the play-off spots with a win against Villa. That's what we want to achieve and have set out to do since the start of the season. Every game until the end of the season is important and we must give everything now to end the season strongly.

"I was not playing against Villa but I watched that game and I think we played well enough to get something out of the game. Unfortunately, we lost (a 3-2 defeat at Villa Park) but that's football sometimes and we'll want to make sure we can get the win this time around."

Originally from Senegal, Touré's impressive displays in recent weeks resulted in a nomination for the Premier League 2 Player of the Month award for February after netting three goals and recording two assists in five unbeaten matches.

The teenage striker, who was on target for Newcastle's under-23 side in their Tyne-Wear derby victory against Sunderland at St. James' Park, expressed his delight in featuring in the six-man shortlist and intends to continue the bright form of late.

He added: "Personally, I've been pleased with my recent form and that has boosted my own confidence, which is important, but I'm also happy with my team mates who made the good choices and score goals for the team.

"It was great to receive the nomination after a good month. It shows me that I have to keep going like that and improving. Every session in training, I am always trying to give my best. Last season, I didn't play a lot but now I am playing more often, I am gaining more confidence."

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