TIM Krul finally has possession of the goalkeeping jersey at Newcastle United – but the 23-year-old won’t be resting on his laurels.
Krul will be in goal for Saturday’s derby against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.
He has fought off pre-season competition from Steve Harper and Fraser Forster to start the campaign between the posts.
And the Holland international started as he means to go on, keeping a clean sheet in the season-opening goalless draw against Arsenal last Saturday.
Now Krul – in goal for Newcastle’s 5-1 win over Sunderland at St James’s Park last October – is braced for a typically-fraught derby.
While United didn’t have a shot on goal against Arsene Wenger’s side, they were resolute defensively, and Krul there will be no fear in their dressing room before the game.
“We knew our start was a hard one against Arsenal and Sunderland, but we don’t have to fear anybody – we showed that last year,” Krul told SportMail.
“I think we be the same this season.
“We’ll go there with a lot of confidence, and I think we can get the three points.
“We needed to get at least a point on the board, and it’s a big boost going into the Sunderland game.
“It’s a massive game. We’ve got Arsenal out of the way, and we’re really looking forward to it.
It’s a tough fixture, but having taken a point and a clean sheet from Arsenal, we can go there with a lot of confidence. A clean sheet is the most important thing for a goalkeeper.”
Reflecting on the home derby last term, which saw then-captain Kevin Nolan score a hat-trick, Krul went on: “It was one of the best moments of my career, especially knowing how much it means to the fans and the city.
“To beat them 5-1 at home was fantastic – it was something special.”
Krul’s confident the competition from long-serving Harper will keep him at the top of his game.
“I’ve been here six years now, and I’ve worked hard for it,” Krul went on.
“I have to cement the spot now – I’ve still got Steve Harper and Fraser breathing down my neck.
“That will push me to keep on top of my game.”
Krul joined Newcastle from Dutch club Den Haag in 2005, and made his senior competitive debut the following year away to Palermo in the UEFA Cup, when he famously kept a clean sheet for United.