Derby County Under-18s head north tomorrow on the hunt for their first win of the 2019/20 season.
Newcastle United are the opponents in Premier League - North on Saturday, kick-off: 1pm.
Justin Walker’s new-look side have suffered two defeats in their opening two games of the season. First, they were narrowly beaten by Everton on their travels before falling 3-1 victims on their first game back at the Training Centre to West Bromwich Albion.
In the last meeting between the two sides at Under-18 level, Walker’s side edged the Magpies with a 2-1 victory. Morgan Whittaker, who has since gone onto make his debut in the first team, scored an impressive brace to give the young Rams all three points.
In the same fixture last season, though, the Rams were much more convincing in their victory at Newcastle. The side cruised to an 8-0 victory amid their seven-game unbeaten run.
Jack Stretton scored half of the goals in a riot at Darsley Park last time out. The striker scored a first-half hat-trick, with Eiran Cashin - also part of Walker’s current squad - getting on the scoresheet to give their side an overwhelming lead early on.
They only improved further after their impressive start; they were relentless, with Connor Dixon and Yoann Greco getting amongst the goals later on.
Walker's side will be hoping for a better start - the Under-18s are yet to take the lead in either of their opening two games and have conceded goals before the 25th minute in both fixtures.
Looking for a reaction out of his players after the first two games of the new season, Walker has spoken about the importance of the upcoming fixture.
He said: “The game against Newcastle is now even bigger. Right now, though, I am looking for more consistency and that’s what we will work on ahead of Newcastle.
“I hope that this will only inspire the players and remind them of the performance levels they need to put in ahead of the next game.”
Words by: Joseph Lightfoot