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Harper ready for Arsenal game

Veteran goalkeeper Steve Harper is looking forward to appearing in Newcastle’s final game of the season against Arsenal on Sunday.

The 38-year-old was called into action against Queens Park Rangers last Sunday after Rob Elliot was sent off in the second-half of the club’s 2-1 win.

And with regular number one Tim Krul still missing with injury, Harper will be handed the jersey in the final game of the campaign at St James’ Park.
“I was hoping to play, but not in these circumstances,” he told Newcastle’s official website.
“Rob is a great lad who works so hard and it’s horrible on him. I thought the sending off was very harsh – his feet were outside the box but I don’t think anyone could tell if the ball actually was.
“However, I’m looking forward to the Arsenal game, it will be fantastic.”
Newcastle fell behind at Loftus Road, before Hatem Ben Arfa’s penalty and a Yoann Gouffran strike secured all three points and Premier League football in 2013-14.
And Harper was full of praise for the side.
“The big thing is we are safe. That is a huge, huge result,” Harper added.
“I think we were a little nervous at the start, so to go a goal down and come back to win is fantastic. We showed fantastic character at a very tough place to come and on a difficult pitch, with the rain pouring down in our faces in the second-half.
“There was good spirit today and it was a massive, massive result for this football club.
“It’s always horrible going on, whether Rob’s been injured or harshly sent-off, as he was today. But that’s why you’re there – you have to be ready, and I was very well protected by the lads in front of me.
“You have to be mentally prepared. You warm up beforehand and you just click the auto-pilot button.
“I’ve been in that position too many times so I know what it’s all about. I think I’ve gone on (as a substitute) probably double figures now.
“It’s difficult but you have to tune in and concentrate on the game. Thankfully I was well-protected, had a few kicks and we managed to dig out a vital win.”
Tue 14 May, 2013
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