NEWCASTLE United goalkeeper Tim Krul is determined to prove to the club’s supporters that their 5-0 defeat at Tottenham was just “a little hiccup”.
United have had a full week to reflect on the calamitous performance. In a whirlwind first half, they caved in with alarming ease as a rampant Spurs picked them off at will.
It certainly was a shock to the system for those who had travelled down to North London from the North East, with hopes high of Newcastle leaping into a Champions League spot if they could win at White Hart Lane.
However, Harry Redknapp’s Spurs side showed that while United’s progress this season has been remarkable, there are still one or two lessons to be heeded before they can rub shoulders with the big guns of the Premier League.
That’s not to say Alan Pardew’s Magpies can’t dust themselves down and try to scale the ladder again.
As Krul (pictured right) says, United have bounced back from a heavy defeat already this season – winning two league games on the trot after a 5-2 reverse at Fulham.
And the Dutch keeper insists there is no reason why the Magpies cannot do so again – starting with Wolves next week, ahead of the visit of a certain Wearside club eight days after that.
Krul said: “We’ve got two home games and they are massive.
“Someone like Tottenham away is not a fixture you have to win – Wolves and Sunderland at home are very different. They are the ones, and if we win those then we are back up where we have been all season.
“You can’t look too far ahead, but if we can win the next two then we are massively on target for a top-ten finish.
“We’ve had a little hiccup and that is a shame, but there are some massive games coming up and we need to get two good results.”
Despite last week’s five-goal mauling at White Hart Lane, Krul insists that it was a case of one team having a bad day at the office while the other had a good one.
“It was a good opportunity for us to test ourselves against a big team, but it was a big off-day for us,” he added. “We were outclassed by a top, top team and we just have to accept that.
“But we just have to step over it like we have done already this season. We followed up the defeat at Fulham with two massive league wins, and hopefully we can do that again against Wolves and Sunderland.
“I didn’t look at the table after Saturday’s game, but when I looked earlier this week I only then realised that we are still one point off the Champions League places. With 13 games to go that is incredible, and just shows you how well we are doing.
“We were disappointed to lose at Spurs and again, that shows how far we have come and how well we are doing.
“We have to crack on now. We have got a little time to recover, come out of the blocks against Wolves next Saturday and then push on for the final 13 games.”
Krul’s team-mate Danny Simpson echoed the keeper’s sentiments, but has assured fans that with this mini-break United are having due to there being no league fixture this weekend, a number of players are using the opportunity to get some much-needed rest while two key midfielders in particular will be making their much-welcomed returns in a black and white shirt.
The full-back said: “Sometimes you want to just play as soon as you can and get a win under your belt to bounce back. But at the same time, we’ve got a break and it’s been a long, tough season up to now.
“We’ve done well, and this will give us the chance to refresh ourselves, recharge our batteries and get ready for Wolves. We will have some big players like Yohan (Cabaye) and Cheick (Tiote) back for then and we will look to kick on again.”