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Young striving for Saints success

Written by Luke Vinton

Jack Young is hopeful Newcastle United Under-23s can secure maximum points ahead of Friday's Premier League 2 visit to Southampton (kick-off 12pm GMT).

The young Magpies make the 658-mile round-trip to the South coast for their Division Two clash at the Saints' Staplewood Training Ground, aiming to move into the play-off spots with a victory.

Following Elliott Dickman's appointment as the club's under-23 Lead Player Development Coach last week, Young revealed the 43-year-old's recent arrival has been a welcoming boost for the squad.

"The build-up has been very good and we're focused on getting the win against Southampton as we're due one," the Morpeth-born midfielder told nufc.co.uk.

"It's been the first week working under the new manager and he has given us a lot of ideas and his way of playing to help us all as much as possible. 

"It's been good to have a full week under the manager so we can understand each other well. As you'd expect, everyone has been trying to impress him and the intensity in training has lifted a little bit.

"It's almost like a clean slate for everyone's places in the squad so it's been a really healthy change which I think has came at the right time.

"It's so tight in the table but we have put ourselves in a good position. We're in a position where we can push on and look forward. We'll give all our efforts to get the three points as our goal is to get either promoted or finish in the play-offs." 

Newcastle's previous Premier League 2 fixture, Dickman's first game in charge, resulted in a 2-2 draw against Norwich City, with Jay Turner-Cooke's opener and Young's penalty, his first goal of the term, both cancelled out by second-half strikes from the Canaries. 

The 21-year-old, who made his first-team debut for the Magpies in a 3-2 pre-season victory at Doncaster Rovers in July, expressed his delight in opening his goalscoring account for the 2021/22 campaign and aims to contribute in front of goal on a regular basis at under-23 level this season.  

"I was really pleased to score and get off the mark," Young added. "On a personal note, it is good to get the goal I have been waiting for and it kickstarts my season and I can now try to get a few more.

"I think getting more goals would take my game to the next level. That's what I need to focus on as a goalscoring midfielder is something I would like to be but I don't mind playing more defensively for the team either.

"We got ourselves in front twice and it was a bit disappointing not to come away with three points. We have got ourselves in good positions in games and that's something we've been working on this week - managing and seeing games out - so hopefully we can get the lead against Southampton and keep it that way."

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