Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Pardew's Keeping His Options Open

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Pardew's Keeping His Options Open

Article excerpt

Byline: Stuart Rayner

ALAN Pardew has moved to clarify Newcastle United's goalkeeping situation, insisting he has not yet decided who will start next season as his number one.

The Magpies manager has long maintained that one of his main jobs when the players return on July 4 will be assessing the progress of Steve Harper (pictured near right), Tim Krul and Fraser Forster. One will start the season as first choice, another will be loaned out or sold, and the third will remain as back-up.

Krul muddied the waters when he was quoted in the Dutch Press last week as having been told by Pardew he would start the campaign as number one. Pardew has been at great pains to stress that is not the case.

"I want to underline that I've not made any decision about the goalkeepers for next season, other than that I want to see them all in pre-season," he said. "The things that have been reported in Holland are not true. Tim will come back with Fraser and Steve to battle it out."

Forster has enjoyed two successful seasons out on loan. In 2009-10 he was part of the Norwich City team which won League One, and in the season just ended had a Scottish Cup medal to add to his collection.

The Hexham-born goalkeeper also helped set a new record as Celtic kept 23 clean sheets in the Scottish Premier League, featuring in goal in all but two of those games.

Krul (pictured near left) is hoping to make his Holland debut this week, after being called into a 23-man squad for friendlies in Uruguay and Brazil. It means neither man is likely to be happy settling for this summer's short straw - being Newcastle's second choice in the coming campaign. Both have done little to hide their ambition. They are intent on becoming Harper's long-term successor, but not so much so that they will harm their careers by staying on Tyneside longer than is healthy for them. …

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