Elias Sorensen ready for big opportunity at Newcastle
Newcastle United take on Grimsby Town tonight looking to book a place in the knockout stages of the Checkatrade Trophy.
The club won its first two group games against Notts County and Doncaster Rovers.
And a draw at Blundell Park (7.45pm kick-off) will be enough to see Ben Dawson’s side progress to the next stage of the competition.
Newcastle failed to get out of the group stage last season.
And goalkeeper Nathan Harker, set to play with Freddie Woodman on international duty with England’s Under-21s, says United will be looking to beat Grimsby, who are third in Northern Group G.
“It’s massive,” said the 19-year-old.
“After doing so well in the first two games, we’ve got all the confidence in the world going into the final game. Even if we just need a draw there to guarantee going through, we’ll be playing for the win.”
Coach Dawson said: “We’re looking forward to that game.
“It would be a great achievement to get out of the group stages against league opposition, and especially the way that we’ve done it so far in the two games.”
In-form striker Elias Sorensen will be looking to add to his 12 goals.
“When I first came over, I was struggling to get in the Under-18s team, now I’m playing week in, week out for the Under-23s," said Sorensen, signed from HB Koge in his native Denmark two years ago.
"It’s a massive thing for me.
“As a footballer, you have your ups and downs. Sometimes you play, sometimes you don’t. It’s up to the manager, really. I just hope to do my best every day in training and impress him and he picks the team from there.”
Sorensen, 19, trained with Rafa Benitez’s first-team squad last week.
“We’re lucky to have some young players coming sometimes to help the first team,” said Benitez. “He did well. He has energy and movement.
“We’re just talking about a couple of training sessions, but you could see the lad has the effort and desire to play in the first team. It depends on him.”