TIM Krul intends to maintain constant pressure on Steve Harper as Newcastle United’s promising young Dutchman looks forward to an extended run in the Carling Cup.
Krul is realistic enough to know Harper will go straight back into the starting line-up when Newcastle travel to Wolverhampton Wanderers tomorrow.
However, that does not mean the 22-year-old is happy to accept his current place in the pecking order after another encouraging display in the 3-2 victory over Accrington Stanley this week.
With Fraser Forster out on loan at Celtic, Krul – who burst on to the scene with a stunning debut in the Uefa Cup against Palermo four years ago – is determined to push Harper hard for the goalkeeper’s jersey by making the most of whatever opportunities come his way in cup football.
Krul, who has never played in the Premier League, said: “I am getting older, I am 22 and I just need to prove myself when I get the opportunities.
“Am I getting closer? I don’t know. I hope so. I am hoping we stay in the Carling Cup as long as possible because that is where I can show what I can do.
“I think I am pushing Steve more and more. That is all I can do. I need to push, push, push and then it is up to the gaffer to make the decision.
“I have to be ready when my chance comes. Palermo was four years ago.
“It was a good start for me, as was West Brom in the first league game last year.
“Hopefully, I can achieve my dream this season and that is to play in the Premier League, which I have not done yet.
“I am ready. I feel ready and I just have to keep knocking on the door.”
Keeping Krul happy will be a difficult task for United manager Chris Hughton as the young pretender makes no secret of his desire to become first-choice goalkeeper sooner rather than later. It is his ambition and potential versus Steve Harper’s seniority and experience which makes the battle for the number one jersey such a fascinating sub plot this term.
Krul continued: “The team’s target is just to stay up, but for me my target is to make the breakthrough this season.
“I want to play at the highest level I can and you cannot get any higher than the Premier League.
“That is what I am going to do if I get my chance. I am lucky. I had Shay Given and Steve Harper looking after me at the start of my career and now it is Steve.
“He looks after me, even though I would like to take his place as soon as possible. That is why I am here at Newcastle, to win that one place.
“It is good competition for both of us, but he has to keep fighting me off.” Despite looking to end his stint as first- choice stopper, Krul is full of admiration for Harper – particularly as he was once in a similar position to himself when Shay Given was number one.
He explained: “Steve has been a fantastically loyal goalkeeper and Newcastle fans love that, but I am here to take his place as soon as I can.
“Before the Accrington game he just said ‘Enjoy it and do well’ and he always gives me tips.
“Steve has been in the same position when he was trying to fight for a place with Shay Given so he knows what it is like. I am fighting him for that position.
“He has to fight to stay in the team and I have to fight to get him out of it, as that is the nature of football.”
Krul was beaten twice by League Two’s Accrington Stanley on Wednesday night, but he also pulled off two important saves as the Magpies moved into the third round of the Carling Cup.
He added: “I suppose I have not done my claims any harm and in the second half I was really busy. We expected a difficult game and that is what we got.
“There were good goals from both sides, but it was a brilliant night in the end and the important thing is we are in the next round.
“It was vital to follow up one good result with another and we did it with the young lads who put in a great shift.”