Keeper Back To Square One

Last updated : 06 November 2006 By Footy Mad - Editor

Glenn Roeder has admitted he had not expected hero goalkeeper Tim Krul to make his Newcastle debut for up to two years.

He was outstanding in Palermo where he pulled on the first team jersey for the first time, and some felt he had done enough to stay in the team for the Sheffield United game at St James' Park. But Steve Harper returned, and with Shay Given stepping up his training, and of course Pavel Srnicek back for three months ... Krul will soon be back to FOURTH choice.

Roeder: "To be honest, we did not expect him to make his debut for another 18 months or two years. We intended to send him out on loan to gain some match practice and we will still do so at some stage.

"He has that Dutch mentality which I like and is a joy to work with in training."

The 18-year-old pulled off three outstanding saves to win himself a standing ovation from his team-mates in the dressing room afterwards.

Steve Harper: "He was outstanding, what else can I say? It was a 'Roy of the Rovers' debut, and I am chuffed to bits for him.

"I have said before he is the best young goalkeeper we have had for a long, long time. He has got it in his make-up and his character. He looks like a man even though he is only 18.

"He has played at a high level youth team-wise, he is captain of his country (Holland), and you can see why. He was absolutely magnificent and I am over the moon for him.

"He is going to be a star of the future because he works hard day in, day out. That will do him the power of good. You could see it in his eyes at the end. He was absolutely buzzing."

Krul: "When I got back into the dressing room after doing a TV interview, the rest of the players stood up and applauded me. All I can say is that it's almost impossible to describe my feelings.

"The relationship between the goalkeepers at Newcastle is unbelievable, and it has helped having such a great coach as Terry Gennoe. I have grown up in this environment and the other 'keepers like Shay, Steve and Pav see me as their little brother. It is something we always have a laugh about.

"I know if Steve Harper is fit, he will play on Saturday night against Sheffield United, and I have not got a problem with that. Shay Given is coming back as well, and that has got to be good for the club."