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Turner 'enjoying' goalkeeping battle for under-23s

Written by Luke Vinton

Goalkeeper Jake Turner is hoping to maintain his number one jersey ahead of Newcastle United under-23s' Premier League 2 clash against Stoke City.

The young Magpies host the Potters at Whitley Park on Monday night (kick-off 7pm GMT) and will be aiming to build on Friday's 1-1 draw against Benfica B in the Premier League International Cup.

Turner, who has started seven games in all competitions this term, expects a difficult encounter against Stoke - who sit in third place of division two and seven points ahead of United's second-string. 

"I think we played very well as a whole in the Benfica game," the 20-year-old told nufc.co.uk. "I'd say we had more chances than them throughout the game but a draw was probably a fair result in the end.

"I was pleased with how I played personally, although I was still frustrated about conceding and not keeping the clean sheet. I am happy that I helped the team to keep it at 1-1 and get a point on the board in our group.

"We've watched the videos on Stoke in their previous games and they look like a strong side, especially in and around the box. I think that we will be expecting a physical game from them.

"We all know how important it is to get the three points as getting a good run of results in the league is always a positive. I also think it's a great opportunity for us to get a win going into another cup competition on Friday (the Premier League Cup)."

After fellow goalkeeper Dan Langley gained the number one spot in September, Turner was then forced to wait eight matches before earning another chance in front of goal.

However, the former England under-19 international admitted work off the pitch has been beneficial towards recapturing his place between the posts and is relishing the competitive battle against Langley.

Turner added: "I am thoroughly enjoying being back in the team. It's always tough when you are not playing but I've been working extra hard in the gym and I think that's helped me get back in the team and also with my performances.

"It's great to be competing with another great goalkeeper and we push each other on in training. Dan is a great lad and did excellent when he was playing. Whoever gets the shirt, we are both there to help and support each other."

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