Toon "Keeper's Union" Gets Revenge

Last updated : 23 January 2007 By Footy Mad - Editor

The West Ham striker has history with Newcastle goalkeepers ... he was the player who put Shay Given out of the game for six weeks.

Harper: "Because of the history I was prepared for him, and the ball was there to be won. But he may have come off a little bit worse this time.

"Shay said he felt his groin straight away and had to come off but I think he just doesn't like playing against West Ham. We will have to wait and see how Shay is because we know he is a quick healer, but if the opportunity is there then I will look forward to it.

"I got a great reaction when I came on and the fans have always been fantastic with me. They know how long I have been here and how much it means for me to get on.

"I didn't have much time to think about things when Shay went off, but you have to switch on straight away and you do not like conceding goals at any time. But having said that, I would not have minded conceding one if we had scored another two at the other end.

"It's always hard for a goalkeeper to come on as a substitute, but I thought the players in front of me were excellent.

"Paul Huntington and David Edgar did very well throughout the match, and the two experienced lads at full-back, Nobby Solano and Stephen Carr, made it easy for me to settle in.

"If you had said before the game that we would only get a point we would have been disappointed, but in the end it was a good point. We started badly despite being desperate to come out on the front foot, and when we went 2-0 down the supporters got a bit restless.

"But James Milner's goal just before half-time was massive, and the fans were fantastic in the second half.

"Maybe in the end we could have won it."