Steve Harper kept another clean sheet on Sunday, made one fantastic save, and kepy up the top class form he has shown while deputizing for Shay Given.
Steve Harper – playing great in the Newcastle goal
Newcastle fans are seeing just how good Steve Harper is when he gets an extended run in the side, and to say he is good is a huge understatement.
News today that Liverpool may try to sign him in the summer – but there’s no chance he’s leaving Newcastle.
Steve talked to the Newcastle Journal this morning:
â€œPeople will be very happy weâ€™ve beaten Sunderland and rightly so, but itâ€™s important no one forgets weâ€™ve had a very difficult season,â€ â€œWe had a good start, then a very long, hard run.”
“The black clouds were circling, and itâ€™s tough to get through that.â€â€œThe great thing is weâ€™re all dreaming again and talking about winning a trophy instead of talking about the â€˜râ€™ word (relegation). We started well and had far too much of a dip, but itâ€™s turned.â€
â€œWe were looking at the fixtures and people were wondering where a win was going to come from, but we said with nine games to go we were in a mini-league and had to try to win that.â€
It did look very bad at one point. It was probably the worst after the Liverpool defeat 3-0, but there were times the lads were playing good football but they could never do it for the full game – and then came the move to a 4-3-3 formation and the Birmingham game, when the lads came back in the second half to earn a draw – and that was it.
The confidence from that, and the fantastic support of the Newcastle crowd, allowed the team to sneak the win against Fulham 2-0, although they were much the better team on the day and haven’t looked back since.
â€œWeâ€™re well on the way. The only way you come through it is by hard work. â€œThe intensity and tempo of training has paid off. The lads are working hard, but with smiles on their faces.â€
â€œWhen Kevin came back it took us a while to sort ourselves out but the last six games have been really good,â€ â€œYouâ€™ve got to give him and the staff the credit for changing the formation, because weâ€™ve looked really solid and also a goal threat.â€
â€œWe go to West Ham next week and you read that their fans arenâ€™t too happy. We know from previous experience how tough that can be at home, and we go there looking for a quick start and full of confidence.â€
Steve of course has also played his part in the great recovery the team has put together, and has 3 clean sheets in the last 4 games. In fact in the 14 games Keegan has been in charge, Newcastle now have 5 clean sheets (around 36%), which is not too bad at all.
Roll on next season.
Comments and opinions very welcome.