Rafael Benitez is confident Karl Darlow can step up in the absence of Tim Krul and Rob Elliot and help Newcastle United stay in the Premier League.
Darlow will start against Norwich City at Carrow Road after Elliot joined Krul on the sidelines, the goalkeeper having suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury on international duty with Republic of Ireland.
The 25-year-old joined Newcastle in August 2014 from Nottingham Forest and – after a season back on loan at the City Ground – has found first-team chances hard to come by at St James’ Park, making just two appearances in all competitions.
His sole Premier League appearance came against West Brom on December 28, and was a league debut to forget as he allowed Darren Fletcher’s header to squeeze past him with 12 minutes remaining.
“We have to support [Darlow] and do what we need to do,” Benitez said.
“He’s training well and we know he can do a good job for us. He hasn’t played too many games in the Premier League but he’s played plenty of games in the Championship so he has enough experience to do well.
“He is a good keeper. He’s proven that in training and he has enough quality to do well at this level.”
The Spaniard added: “But it’s a collective responsibility. The team have to defend and protect the goalkeeper.
“Because the game is so important, we have to make sure we do what we can to help the keeper, but we also have to find ways to score goals and win the game.”
With eight games remaining Newcastle sit 19th in the league table, three points from safety.
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!