Victor eyeing victory in Sparta showdown
Written by Tom Easterby
Victor Fernández says it’s vital that Newcastle United Under-23s get back to winning ways soon as they prepare to welcome Sparta Prague to Tyneside on Tuesday night.
The Magpies face Sparta in their first ever Premier League International Cup fixture, which will kick-off at 7pm at Whitley Park.
Peter Beardsley’s side made a fine start to the campaign, but haven’t won since their 2-1 Checkatrade Trophy victory at Crewe Alexandra at the end of August.
And winger Fernández believes United need a win to help restore some of the confidence that was showing in their early outings this season.
“I feel good, but we need to get wins because we have lost a lot of games these last few weeks,” he told nufc.co.uk. “We have to recover and start winning games now.
“We need to get a win to get that confidence back, because we haven’t done that in the past few months. We need to get that confidence back.”
The 19-year-old will hope to return to the squad for the midweek visit of the Czech side, having missed out on the 2-0 Premier League 2 defeat at the hands of Blackburn on Friday night.
And the former Cornellà player reckons Sparta will provide a much different test than the young Magpies – who last faced foreign opponents in pre-season, in a 4-1 win over AZ Alkmaar – have been used to in domestic competitions.
“It’s good to play against different teams from different places, because it makes us play against team that we are not used to playing. We’re used to playing against English teams, so it’s nice for us to be able to play against these different teams,” he said.
“In my case, playing in Spain, it’s like a different game. I don’t know how Sparta Prague will play, but they will play different football to what we’re used to in England.
“It’s better for players to play as many different games against teams different to what you know, as it will be better to develop the players. It’s good to play against different teams because you can get used to different styles.”
Fernández has featured for Newcastle in the Premier League Cup and the Checkatrade Trophy so far this term, as well as in the league, and he feels that a good run in the cups is something for United to strive for this term.
The teenager – who was brought into Rafa Benítez’s first team squad for their trip to Ireland in pre-season – believes playing alongside and against some more experienced players this term is aiding his development as a player.
“We always want to go as far as we can in all the trophies, but it’s hard – there are a lot of games, and we need to get rested enough to be prepared enough for all the games,” said Fernández. “It would be nice for us to go far in the trophies.
“In my case, I have played with more people of my age, and when you play with people who are older and experienced, it helps you. Maybe you did things in one way, but you see them doing something, and then you think ‘that’s the correct way’. You get used to it, because they have that experience, and it’s good to learn from this.
“It’s hard to play against them because they are quite old, with lots experiences and physically, there is a difference between us and them – they are physically more developed. But it’s good to play against them because you can get that experience of playing at a senior level.
“You have to get used to this, because after 23s, it's professional football, and it’s good to get used to this now.”
"We need to get a win to get that confidence back, because we haven’t done that in the past few months. We need to get that confidence back."