Rival bosses praise Krul
Chris Hughton and Roberto Di Matteo both hailed a superb goalkeeping display from Tim Krul as West Brom and Newcastle drew.
Last Updated: 08/08/09 10:23pm
Chris Hughton and Roberto Di Matteo both hailed a superb goalkeeping display from substitute Tim Krul as West Brom and Newcastle played out a 1-1 draw at The Hawthorns.
Dutch custodian Krul came on at half-time to make his league debut after Steve Harper suffered a head injury as Albion took the lead shortly before the interval.
Yet the 21-year-old Dutchman showed no fear and went on to produce a string of superb saves to deny Albion time and time again on an evening which paid an emotional tribute to the passing of Sir Bobby Robson.
Krul certainly played a starring role, but poor finishing was also a big factor as both sides settled for a share of the spoils in their first fixture since suffering relegation from the Premier League back in May.
Newcastle caretaker manager Hughton revealed Harper had gone to hospital as a precaution but initial reports suggested he was "fine".
Speaking about Krul, he added: "He was certainly busier than what we would have liked him to be but I thought he was excellent.
"In particular I thought two saves that he made were absolutely top class.
"We've always been aware he's a talented young goalkeeper."
Hughton added: "We always knew it was going to be very tough.
"For us to come here and get a draw, it's a good point."
With owner Mike Ashley struggling to find a new buyer for the north-east outfit, no further progress being made to appointing a permanent manager and a complete lack of summer signings, Newcastle's off-field problems have been well documented.
That was not helped by pre-match reports of an alleged bust-up between Hughton and Joey Barton, with the midfielder starting Saturday's game on the bench.
A coy Hughton refused to directly deny an incident but looked to play down any talk of a disagreement between the pair.
"Joey was part of the squad that travelled with us. There are decisions that have to be made, my decision was to go with two big lads up front for tactical reasons," he repeated on numerous occasions.
Asked how Barton took the decision to be named among the substitutes, he replied: "He took it the same as everybody, everybody wants to play.
"He was disappointed but that's the decision I made."
Albion head coach Di Matteo was left to rue his side's missed chances but, again, had nothing but praise for Krul.
Asked whether he thought his side did enough to win the game, Di Matteo replied: "I think so, we had plenty of chances.
"Their goalkeeper made some very fine saves to keep them in it.
"You kind of hope that the substitute keeper is not that good but he had a hell of an afternoon.
"But we've got to take the chances, absolutely. If you create them and get in those positions you just need to score. That's how you win games."
He added: "I thought we were quite solid, we didn't concede much to Newcastle, who are a very good team with quality players.
"It was a tough afternoon but I think we did well."