Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul has urged the club’s fans to create an electric atmosphere at St. James’ Park when Benfica arrive for the second leg of their Europa League tie on Thursday, according to Sky
The Magpies face a daunting task in having to overturn a 3-1 deficit from the first leg in Portugal, but Krul believes the fans will give the hosts a big advantage on the night.
“The fans have sold out the stadium because they see it as a massive opportunity for us and we have to see it as a massive opportunity,” said the 25-year-old Netherlands international stopper.
“It’s a quarter-final of the Europa League, you can’t just see it as a friendly game. The games are coming thick and fast. It’s Thursday night first and Sunday’s (game against Sunderland) another story.
“It’s been a long time without a trophy, we know that. Don’t get me wrong. Benfica are a tough team. It is a different game because they are a top, top squad. It could be a special occasion on Thursday night.”
Krul also believes that the club or on their way toward salvaging their season after a relatively disappointing league campaign, with the Toon currently sitting 13th, five points above the relegation zone.
Speaking about Papiss Cisse’s late winner against Fulham on Sunday to give the Geordies the three points, Krul said: “It lifted everybody. Very few grounds have an atmosphere like that.
“It is an amazing time at St James’ when you see everybody celebrating like that.”
With Tottenham and Chelsea both presently still in the tournament as well, progression for Newcastle could potentially see them feature in an all-English semi-final, with the draw to be made on Friday April 12.
See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Newcastle v Sunderland