Premier League

Harper seeks stability

Magpies keeper wants an end to managerial merry-go-round

Harper: Magpies stalwart

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Steve Harper believes Newcastle must find stability before they can start thinking about silverware.

The Magpies have gone over half a century since they last got their hands on a major trophy, with a number of false dawns having come and gone down the years.

This season has failed to bring an end to that barren streak, with Premier League survival representing the height of the club's ambitions.

Yet again goings on off the field have distracted from events on it, with managerial departures and boardroom wrangling dominating the headlines.

Harper admits the ongoing soap opera which continues to surround St James' Park is doing nobody any favours and has called on the club to get their house in order as quickly as possible.

"Well, it's long overdue," the keeper told the Daily Telegraph.

"We've had far too high a turnover of managers. Anyone can see that.

"Look at David Moyes and Everton. Why can't we be like them? We should be where they are and where Aston Villa are, where we were a few years ago under Sir Bobby Robson.

"We're only going to get that by giving a manger time."

Attitude

Harper has recently established himself as Newcastle's No. 1, following the sale of Shay Given to Manchester City, but he admits there have been times over the last 16 years when he wondered whether he would ever get his chance.

"I went to see the manger saying I wanted to play, asking to give me an opportunity or to let me go on loan, but it just didn't happen," he said.

"In hindsight, should I have kicked up a fuss and done something about it? Possibly. When I'm finished I might regret those years.

"It seems to be the people who don't care much get the moves. If you are a bit more selfish you get the rewards. It's like nice guys finish last in football.

"After 16 years here I could probably write a book that would outsell JK Rowling. I've seen good players with bad attitudes and bad players with good attitudes - the full spectrum.

"We've spent a lot of money over that time but let's just say some of it wasn't spent particularly well."