Hughton backs Krul to shine

Magpies boss insists he has adequate cover for goalie jersey

Krul: Set for starring role

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Chris Hughton has every confidence in Tim Krul's ability as Newcastle's temporary number one goalkeeper.

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"We are very confident in his ability and we are quite sure he will cope very well"

Chris Hughton

Quotes of the week

Krul will get his first taste of regular football in the Magpies first team, starting in front of the Sky Sports cameras this Sunday against Stoke City, after regular shot-stopper Steve Harper was ruled out for around 12 weeks.

Harper underwent shoulder surgery on Thursday and is unlikely to return until December and Hughton elected against turning to an emergency replacement, instead installing his faith in the 22-year-old Dutchman and Swedish understudy Ole Soderberg.

"That confidence has really been built on not just the fact that when he has come in, he has done very well, but on what we have seen here from him over the period of time he has been here," said the Magpies boss of Krul, who started Wednesday night's remarkable 4-3 Carling Cup victory at Chelsea.

"That's the biggest aspect because we haven't seen him so much as regards the first team on the football pitch.

"But we are very confident in his ability and we are quite sure he will cope very well."

Determined

Krul turned in a stunning individual display on his senior debut for the club as a 19-year-old in a Uefa Cup tie against Palermo in Sicily in 2006 and the Dutch custodian will continue in the St James' Park clash against Stoke.

His chance has come after Harper landed awkwardly following a challenge by striker Jermaine Beckford during last weekend's 1-0 win at Everton.

However, the older man is determined Krul's run in the team will be short-lived after already setting his sights on defying medical opinion.

"I was told it could be four months, but I was determined to stay positive until we'd had a clear diagnosis," said Harper, who for so long waited in the shadow of Shay Given before establishing himself as first choice.

"We have been told three months, so it will be now up to me and the medical team to get down to work and chisel as many days off that as possible.

"We have got great medical staff here and they know that me even being in the medical room for more than five minutes usually sees me banging my head against the wall, so three months will be a long time.

"There will be the proper protocol, of course, but I will be looking to be back as soon as possible."

Preparation

Harper will be an interested spectator as Newcastle attempt to continue their encouraging start to life back in the top flight this weekend.

The win at Everton made up for the disappointment of the previous week's 2-0 home defeat at the hands of Blackpool and Wednesday's cup heroics, which came despite Hughton making 10 changes, have simply increased optimism.

The manager is likely to field his strongest XI once again, although Sol Campbell will be pushing for a place after making his debut at Chelsea, while James Perch is available after suspension.

Expectations will be high once again, but Hughton insists there is no need to bring his players back down to earth.

He said: "It's never that difficult, I must admit, because of the preparation that has to go into every game.

"It's so massive that the day after the Chelsea game, you are already going through the Stoke preparation, so it is not very difficult to bring yourself back down.

"We have just got to make sure we are prepared very well for a very good and very dangerous team."

What will be the outcome in the match Newcastle vs Stoke?

  • Newcastle
  • Draw
  • Stoke