Academy. Parkinson ready for Royals rumble

23 Aug 23

Teenage forward Ben Parkinson is hopeful of adding to his Premier League 2 goalscoring tally ahead of Friday's trip to Reading (kick-off 7pm BST).

The young Magpies make the lengthy trip to Berkshire to face their Royals counterparts at the Select Car Leasing Stadium, aiming to bounce back from Saturday’s 4-1 defeat against Tottenham Hotspur at the Lamex Stadium.

Parkinson, who made his senior debut for the Magpies during a pre-season friendly win against Gateshead last month, was on target for Newcastle’s second-string during a 5-3 opening day win against Southampton and has his sights set on increasing his total.

The 18-year-old striker, who featured for Newcastle’s first-team during their Premier League Summer Series campaign in the US, told “Scoring in the first game of the season is always a good feeling. Being a striker, scoring goals is your job and that’s exactly the way you want to start. I just want to continue that form and to get a goal on Friday would be a great start.

“You always want to score as many goals as you can and, although I haven’t put a number on exactly how many, I’ve got an idea of where I want to be at the end of the season, given everything goes right with fitness and other things. I think it’s good to set goals and targets for something to work to during the season.

“Saturday didn’t go our way but we’re hungry and determined to put things rights. We started the season well against Southampton and we want to continue our form from that game and not from the Spurs match.

“There’s always positives to take from every game, no matter the end result. I thought we did start the game well, creating a few chances and probably should’ve taken the lead in the first ten minutes but then they scored the first goal and it spiralled from there. You always want to start a game well to put the opposition on the back foot so I think that’s something we can take into this one.

“You always want to play in the stadiums. It’s as close as you’re going to get to first-team football, playing on a first-team ground and a quality pitch. It’ll be a great experience and another stadium to tick off the list.

“It’ll be both a physical and technical test. They are quite big, strong lads but that mustn’t be mistaken that they are still good technically. They scored some good goals against good opposition so we expect a tough match but a one we’re all looking forward to.”

During Eddie Howe’s pre-match media briefing ahead of last week’s trip to Manchester City, the Magpies’ head coach complimented Parkinson, stating the Durham-born forward “performed really well” when introduced from the substitutes’ bench in Premier League Summer Series matches against Chelsea and Brighton & Hove Albion as well as both of Newcastle’s Sela Cup clashes against Fiorentina and Villarreal at St. James’ Park.

Parkinson, who signed his first professional contract with his boyhood club last month, added: “My dad sent me a snippet of what he said in the press conference and it was a great feeling to hear him mention my name, especially when he wasn’t provoked to say something about me. It was a massive confidence boost and something I really enjoyed hearing.

“I feel I’ve had a good start to the season. I thought I did the best I could in pre-season and I’m glad that other people have the same opinion, especially the gaffer which means a lot."

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