Turner-Cooke hungry for Wolves win
Written by Luke Vinton
Jay Turner-Cooke is hopeful Newcastle United Under-23s can record a third successive Premier League 2 win ahead of Monday's visit of Wolverhampton Wanderers (kick-off 7pm BST).
The young Magpies head into the Division Two encounter at Whitley Park on the back of victories over local rivals Middlesbrough and Sunderland as well as beating Birmingham City and Newcastle Benfield in the Premier League Cup and Northumberland Senior Cup respectively.
Turner-Cooke, who scored his first goal at under-23 level in a 2-1 win against the Black Cats at the Stadium of Light, revealed there is high spirits amongst the squad as they attempt to extend their winning streak.
"Everyone is looking forward to it," the 17-year-old midfielder told nufc.co.uk. "We've won our last three games (in all competitions) and have been playing some good football. Fortunately, we've got two games this week, on Monday and Friday (against Norwich City), so we'll be heading into the game against Wolves with a lot of confidence and hopefully we can get three points.
"No game at this level is easy, to be fair. Monday will be no different so we have to work hard in training up until the game to give us the best possible chance to win the match.
"The confidence in the squad is really high. We've been playing some good football in patches so, hopefully, we can put that together for 90 minutes to get another strong result."
Hailing from South Shields, Turner-Cooke joined the Magpies' youth set-up in January from Sunderland after spending seven years at the Black Cats' Academy.
After scoring his maiden goal for United's second-string, against his former club, the teenager expressed his delight to come out on top in the Tyne-Wear derby and is determined to build on his positive display.
"Everyone was buzzing to beat Sunderland," he added. "At the start of the season, you look for when you're playing the Tyne-Wear derby and it was even better that it was at the Stadium of Light.
"After the game, all the lads were buzzing in the dressing room. Coming from behind to win the match made it even more special.
"I'm just glad to score my first goal at this level, whoever it was against but it did make it more special when I came from Sunderland. It was such a big game so it was a memory I won't forget for a while.
"It was a surreal moment. I play for Newcastle now, I've stayed professional, and hopefully that goal is the first of many more to come."
After netting three goals in his opening four matches for United's under-18s, Turner-Cooke has been rewarded by featuring for Newcastle's under-23 side as well as training with the Magpies' first-team.
It has been a bright start to the campaign for the 17-year-old, who is determined to build on his bright form in order to solidify a regular place in United's reserve squad.
"I'm really enjoying my time with the under-23s, relishing the challenges," he added. "I've been able to train with the first-team a handful of times too and I'm enjoying every challenge I've been given this season.
"The physicality and the pace of the games is a big increase. I'm quite a confident player, though, and I'm loving the challenge.
"The competition within the group is great as it makes you play better and it improves others. At the minute, I've had a couple of runs in the side and hopefully I can keep performing well and keep getting into the team."
Supporters will be able to attend Monday's Premier League 2 encounter at Whitley Park, with season ticket holders gaining free admission otherwise it's £3 for adults and £1 concessions.