Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Dubravka: I'll Back Magpies Glove Rival; Dubravka Pledges to Support Glove Rival

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Dubravka: I'll Back Magpies Glove Rival; Dubravka Pledges to Support Glove Rival

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Douglas NUFC Editor mark.douglas@trinitymirror.com

NEWCASTLE new boy Martin Dubravka is desperate to make his six-month loan switch a permanent move to St James' Park - but he's pledging to do everything he can to support Karl Darlow if he's made to wait for his debut.

Rafa Benitez is contemplating handing Dubravka his debut against Manchester United after Darlow's mixed day at Selhurst Park.

The ex-Nottingham Forest man showcased his excellent reflexes against Crystal Palace but there were enough nervy moments to give Benitez some food for thought - especially after he pressed the Newcastle hierarchy to bring in Dubravka during the January transfer window. It would be a risk to give Slovakia international Dubravka a first start against one of the form teams in the country, but Benitez - who signed him partially because of his ability with his feet to start attacks - will have to decide whether he's ready.

Matz Sels arrived with a similar reputation but could not handle the heat of the Championship promotion chase and is now out on loan with Anderlecht.

Of the battle to be number one, Dubravka said: "Look, we are all competing for the shirt but we are all one team also. I will support Karl if he is in the goal. He will get 100% of my support, whoever it is in goal will. It's up to the coach who will be in goal. We are a team though and we will stick together. I only had three training sessions with the team before the game.

"It can take a little longer than I am used to to get used to the sessions and the other guys, but I will do my best to be ready and to play.

I want to show the coach I can play."

There is understood to be a PS4m permanent deal clause in the loan deal struck between Sparta Prague and United, and Dubravka intends to make the Turn to Page 50 Martin Dubravka most of it. …

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