Academy. Jay "buzzing" to play after injury lay-off

12 Apr 24

After a four month injury lay-off, Jay Turner-Cooke expressed his delight in returning to competitive action for Newcastle United's under-21s side last week.

The South Shields-born youngster joined St Johnstone on loan for the duration of the 2023/24 season but made a total of six appearances for the Scottish Premiership outfit before returning in January 2024 after sustaining a hernia injury.

The 20-year-old attacking midfielder, who scored his first senior goal for the Magpies during a 3-2 pre-season win against Gateshead in July 2023, was delighted to complete his first outing since December and is determined to conclude the current campaign as he started.

Turner-Cooke, who featured for United during their Premier League Summer Series in the United States, told "I was buzzing to be playing again. It's been a tough few months out injured, which I had been carrying for a while when I was at St Johnstone.

"To be back on the pitch with a smile on my face was all I've needed for the last few months and hopefully I can get a good amount of minutes from now until the end of the season.

"I had some experience last season at Tranmere that I could use positively, which I thought I did, but it's always tough moving away from home and your friends and family but I thought I dealt with it quite well and I have more experience of learning when I was up there.

"It can only help to make me a better player and season for the future. I'm really determined to get back to full fitness, playing like I was prior to the injury. Hopefully, I can do that and end the season on a positive note."

Newcastle's youngsters return to Premier League 2 action on Saturday, 13th April (kick-off 11am BST) when hosting their Fulham counterparts at Whitley Park.

With four league fixtures remaining for the young Magpies, Turner-Cooke is keen to record back-to-back league wins following a 3-2 victory against West Bromwich Albion, coming from behind to beat their Baggies counterparts.

He added: "We've probably not won as many games as we would've liked and maybe deserved but last week was a big win and, hopefully, we can get a good winning streak together and try to push for the play-offs.

"We've conceded goals late on this season so once we did take the lead, we had to stick together and defend the box well, which I thought we did. Although we conceded against West Brom, we were quite comfortable in seeing the game out.

"As a football team, you want to score as many goals as you can and concede as little as possible. Going into Saturday's game, we want to put a good performance together and come out with three points.

"It's been a very competitive league this season. We've had some decent games and results against teams higher up in the division and we feel confident as a group, whoever we play, that we can pick up a strong result against any kind of opposition."

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