Harper deserves call for Everton v Newcastle

Steve Harper
Steve Harper

NEWCASTLE United’s Steve Harper will be between the posts at Goodison Park – more than 16 months after his last Premier League appearance.

And the goalkeeper’s influence on Monday night’s game against Everton won’t just be confined to the pitch.

With Tim Krul sidelined for several weeks with an elbow injury, Newcastle manager Alan Pardew will turn to Harper, who last played in the top flight in April last year.

The 37-year-old suffered the first of a series of frustrating injuries in the corresponding fixture on Merseyside two seasons ago.

However, Harper – who didn’t make a competitive first-team appearance for United last season – is now fully fit.

With Pardew’s other senior goalkeeper, Rob Elliot, short of fitness after a spell out with injury, Harper will be given the nod to face David Moyes’s in-form side.

“Harps will play – he deserves that for the way he’s come back this year,” Pardew said.

“I think he’s more focused. He’s over what seems like an injury run for him.”