Preston forward Jordan Hugill – a Middlesbrough fan – has special reason to shoot down Newcaastle at Deepdale tomorrow.
The ex-Hartlepool United loanee was an unused sub for Tuesday’s 6-0 EFL Cup drubbing from the Magpies, but wants to avenge that loss.
The 23-year-old told pnefc.net: “I’m really looking forward to it. Being a Middlesbrough fan myself I would love the opportunity to play against Newcastle.
“A few people that I know are Geordies so it would be nice to get one over on them.
“There will be a good following there from us and them as well so it should be a good atmosphere and something good to play in.
“It’s always good when two games come around quickly because regardless of the result, you can put things right when the next game comes around quickly.
“It will be a great opportunity to play in front of a packed out stadium with a great atmosphere.”
Meanwhile, on-loan Chelsea winger Christian Atsu says he is loving playing for Rafa Benitez at Newcastle.
Atsu – who yesterday talked about his charity work in his native Ghana at a Newcastle United Foundation soccer school – feels he is already a better player for his time working under Benitez.
“I have moved on loan to a lot of clubs,” said the 24-year-old. “I have to put that behind me and really focus on what I have to do today and tomorrow. To work under Rafa Benitez is really good.
“He’s a great man, very friendly. I’m very happy to work with him. He’s a fantastic coach.
“I’ve learnt a lot from my team-mates and also Rafa. He has been giving me chances, and I’m working hard to help the team. Working with him for a long time ... I will be a better player.”
Atsu is expecting a tough game against Preston, who beat Norwich City and Huddersfield Town last week.
“This will be a different game,” he said. “We have to approach this game with a different mentality. We have to know it’s a different game altogether.”
Atsu visited Newcastle United Foundation’s half-term soccer school as part of an initiative in his role as an ambassador for the Arms Around the Child charity to help highlight World Orphan Day on November 14.
“I really enjoyed working with the Newcastle United Foundation and telling the children about the charity I support in Ghana,” said Atsu, who accepted a donation of Newcastle kits for a Ghanaian orphanage.
Kate Bradley, Head of Newcastle United Foundation, said: “It is brilliant that Christian took time out to meet our Soccer School participants and to tell the about Arms Around the Child.
“The players are huge supporters of the work we do in our local community, and we’re proud to be able to support Christian in donating some playing kit for the children at the orphanage in Ghana.”
For more information, visit armsaroundthechild.org