Harper happy at St James’

Last updated : 07 March 2003 By Martyn Elliott

Birmingham are the latest club to be linked with a move for Shay Given’s understudy and given the present dearth of English goalkeeping talent Harper could be forgiven for thinking that a move may earn him international honours.

But instead Harper is fully committed to Newcastle’s cause.

"It's tough and you've just got to be patient. I've had offers from elsewhere but this is where I'm from," he told the Evening Chronicle.

"I can't wait forever for my chance - and I admit that - but I'm waiting for the time being.

"The team's still doing well and while the gaffer can make six changes in outfield positions the goalkeeper is rarely rested.

"I've been to see the manager but I'm not the type to go braying on his door every morning. I just love football and work hard Monday to Friday but it's not easy if there's nothing at the end of it.

"Moving to any other club would be a step down and I've got a contract here for the next few years."

Life must sometimes seem tough for Harper, but he is just unfortunate that he has come through the ranks at the same time as the club signed possibly its best ever keeper.