Tim Krul has pledged to fight until the end to make this summer’s World Cup after admitting that Newcastle’s nightmare New Year has left him in international limbo.
The Holland goalkeeper was dropped from the latest Dutch squad after playing a full part in their qualification campaign, and is now touch-and-go for a place on the plane to Brazil.
It appears that Krul was a victim of a horrendous run of form that saw United concede ten goals in three games before two improved displays that have helped Newcastle get their season back on track – and the Academy graduate re-assert his place as one of the Premier League’s best stoppers.
Krul made a superb double save in the Hull game directly before Newcastle’s opening goal that confirmed he is returning to the sort of form which earned him his place in the Holland squad.
The shot-stopper now believes that a successful end to the season – and Newcastle have ambitions of finishing as high as sixth – would help him leapfrog Jeroen Zoet of PSV and make the plane to Brazil.
“I’ll keep fighting to the end. I’ve got ten games left to show them that I’m ready and I think the manager knows what he gets from me,” he said.
“I’m going to do my best to show him that I should be on that plane to Brazil. He hasn’t phoned to explain his decision, but I don’t think the manager has to do that. We’ve had a bad month and I think we have to be honest about that. We have turned it around with two great wins and the only thing I can do now is impress in the next ten games.
“Another good run with Newcastle can help my chances of going to the World Cup, because of course the manager looks at that. He said in his Press conference that some players have obviously had a bad couple of months and he would go from now. All I can do is look forward and try to get back into the squad.”
Krul’s own form has improved, but he is not alone. Newcastle have improved markedly over the last two games and look like a more rounded team following the run of defeats that was ushered in by Yohan Cabaye’s exit.
Boss Alan Pardew – who is expected to confirm that he will not contest the FA charge of improper conduct in time for Thursday’s 6pm deadline – has managed to cajole an improvement from his players over the last two games that owes much to a couple of burgeoning partnerships.
Up front Luuk de Jong has done well alongside Loic Remy, while in the midfield engine room, Cheick Tiote and Vurnon Anita look like a good partnership. It has been a noticeable improvement in the team that has been down to a number of key pairings starting to flourish.
“It was more than one player on Saturday,” Krul said.
“I think Luuk de Jong and Loic (Remy), that partnership is really starting to gel now and Vurnon (Anita) and Cheick (Tiote) crafting and tackling was vital for us in the middle of the park.
“I’m really pleased with the way we played and hopefully it can continue. It’s a bit frustrating we don’t have a game next weekend, but we’ll go away work hard and come back fresh ready for Fulham.”
Krul believes that Remy might be convinced to stay at Newcastle by the way his team-mates have welcomed him to the club, and allowed him to prosper since his loan move to QPR.
United are interested in making the transfer permanent and have an agreed fee in place but there is an acknowledgement at the club that it will be down to the France striker to agree terms in the close season. Understandably, Krul hopes that he will be persuaded to join Newcastle.
He said: “To be honest he is enjoying his time here and I think we make him feel at home, give him confidence and give him the right balls to score.
“He’s a fantastic striker, we’ve known from the start and I’m pleased he has been part of the squad this season and that’s the only thing we can control at the moment.”