JOHN Carver has praised Jak Alnwick for dealing with the “pressure” of playing in front of Newcastle United’s strong travelling support in Saturday’s FA Cup loss at Leicester City.
Alnwick kept the Magpies in the third round tie, but was ultimately unable to prevent the 1-0 defeat.
The 21-year-old has been thrust into the limelight in recent weeks, with Tim Krul and Rob Elliot injured, and has come in for some criticism for his performances.
However, Carver praised his character after his display against Leicester, with Krul expected to return at Chelsea on Saturday. He said: “He (Alnwick) has had a bit of a tough time with the goals that we have conceded, and I’ve felt a little bit sorry for Jak.
“He has been a strong lad, he has stood up to it. It’s not easy when you’re a young lad and you’ve got a big following like we had behind the goal. They put you under a little bit of pressure, and you’ve got to be able to deal with the pressure.
“It takes a special type of player to play at this club and if you can’t handle the pressure of the 52,000 every other week, then you’ll not survive here.”
Carver took a depleted squad to Leicester on Saturday, with the likes of Daryl Janmaat, Steven Taylor, Fabricio Coloccini, Moussa Sissoko, Jack Colback and Papiss Demba Cisse unavailable.
He gave a chance to a number of youngsters, and Carver feels they will benefit greatly from the experience.
He added: “We had to bring some young lads to gain experience, and I’m sure they will benefit from it.
“Callum Roberts, Lubo Satka, Adam Armstrong – this is all valuable experience for the future of this football club. I think they’ll benefit from playing in a difficult environment.”
– DANIEL PRINCE