Harper ready to step in for Newcastle after Krul injury

Veteran Newcastle goalkeeper Steve Harper has eased the fears of the club’s support by vowing he will be more than up to the task of replacing first team goalkeeper Tim Krul if required against Everton next Monday night, after Krul picked up an injury on international duty for Holland.

Speaking to the Newcastle Evening Chronicle, Harper, who made his first senior appearance for the club in over a year in the Europa League earlier this season, said: “I feel the best I’ve felt for a long time. We all knew that this season there was a chance to get games under our belts. I had a chat with the manager at the start of pre-season and he said there would be an opportunity. We all want to remind him we’re ready if needed.

Harper, 37, is currently the club’s longest serving player but has not appeared in the Premier League for Newcastle since April 2011, having lost his place as No. 1 to Dutchman Krul. Indeed, last season saw Harper have a spell out on loan at Brighton and Hove Albion in order to get games under his belt.

However, with Newcastle in the Europa League this season, Harper is aware that he will get more chances to feature. Harper said: “Having the extra games gives you that level of competitiveness. It’s good for everyone.” An injury would be a harsh blow for Krul, who having established himself as the first choice at the Sports Direct Arena, has recently replaced Maarten Stekelenburg as the national team’s first choice under their new manager, Louis van Gaal.

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