Karl Darlow is hoping his form for Newcastle United this season will put him in contention for a first England call-up ahead of next year’s European Championships.
The 30-year-old was man-of-the-match in the goalless draw against Liverpool and added to his eye-catching performances since Martin Dubravka injured his heel in the summer while running in a park in his native Slovakia.
Darlow has never played for England’s youth teams and has turned down approaches from Wales. He says he is aware of being tipped for a call-up to Gareth Southgate’s squad following his displays in the first half of the season.
“Of course I’m aware of it, it would be silly for me not to be aware of it. I know what is going on and hopefully I can just keep performing and if that gets me into contention I’ll be over the moon,” he said.
“I just need to keep performing and hopefully that might happen.”
Darlow was a regular for Newcastle in the Championship and Steve Bruce has not confirmed him as his No 1 after seizing his opportunity.
“I’m in a fortunate position where I have two excellent goalkeepers and one was player of the year last season,” he said.
“Karl is No.1 because of the performances he’s put in. It puts me in a very healthy position.
“When you play the big teams you expect your keeper to make a save or two. I couldn’t be more delighted for him as a lad as he’s had to wait patiently and what he needed to do was grasp the opportunity. Dubravka was injured running in the park would you believe? And he’s grasped the opportunity.
“He’s had to wait patiently for his chance and the way he has trained, we needed him to step up. If you see his saves during the season, we’ve had to call on him too often at times but there is no disputing he has been terrific all season.”
Bruce, who celebrates his 60th birthday on Thursday, felt his team have shown a response following their EFL Cup exit at the hands of Brentford, which drew criticism from supporters.
“We disappointed ourselves in a big cup tie, which is huge for a club like this and we were poor on the night,” he said.
“We had to accept what was coming our way. But we are in the bottom half of the Premier League and what you have to be is defensively right and of course if you can, cause a threat at the other end.
“We are trying , slowly, it takes a bit of progress. But that is the job at Newcastle, the walls come tumbling down very very quickly. We just have to try to keep persepctive on it.”
Jurgen Klopp was not upset with the performance of his team at St James Park and he was relieved there were no fresh injury concerns, with Xherdan Shaqiri returning off the bench.
Joel Matip, who limped off against West Bromwich Albion at the weekend, faces three weeks out with an adductor problem.
“Shaq is back, that is the best news and nobody got injured,” Klopp said. “It means we can go with the same squad to Southampton on Monday.
“I am not overly frustrated. It is football and then it is difficult to win a game but you can have a draw with a bad performance or a draw with a good performance, this was a draw with a good performance
“Not scoring is a concern if you don’t create. If you create, it is momentum for now. I know we will score again. We needed to show a reaction after the second half against West Brom when we lost the plot a little in the second half and it looked like we were 1-0 down and not 1-0 up. This was a good reaction without getting the result.
“We win this game 1-0 and everybody is over the moon but we didn’t. I can work with this performance. We don’t have to change anything.”
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