Newcastle keeper Steve Harper has key role at Everton

PRAISE FOR HUGHTON: Alan Pardew
PRAISE FOR HUGHTON: Alan Pardew

STEVE Harper will be needed in the dressing room as much as on the field at Everton on Monday.

That was the view of boss Alan Pardew ahead of Monday night’s Premier League match when veteran Harper will replace the injured Tim Krul.

As the elder statesman of United’s squad, Harper’s experience is invaluable, not least at Goodison Park with captain Fabricio Coloccini absent through injury.

“He’s got vast experience which we’re going to need, as we’re missing Colo,” said Pardew. “We’re going to need him in the dressing room as much as the goal.”

Ironically, Harper’s run of injuries started at Goodison Park, where he damaged shoulder ligaments in a collision with then-Everton striker Jermaine Beckford.

He spent a frustrating three months on the sidelines in what was the club’s first season back in the Premier League.

And Harper, now in his 15th first-team season at the club, missed the end of the game with a knee injury.

Meanwhile, Krul is sidelined with the arm injury he suffered in a training session with Holland during the international break.

“Tim’s certainly out for the next two or three games,” said Pardew. “It’s a blow to him.

“It’s an opportunity for the other keepers.

“They’ve done very well, and are looking to play.”