Harper - We need to keep stars
Steve Harper says Newcastle must keep hold of their key players as well as strengthening their resources.
Last Updated: 01/04/11 10:11am
Steve Harper insists Newcastle must keep hold of key players in the squad as well as strengthening their resources in the summer.
Toon manager Alan Pardew has already said he expects the money from the £35million sale of striking ace Andy Carroll in January to be invested back into the club at the end of the season.
And while 36-year-old Harper agrees new additions at St James' Park will provide a welcome boost, the goalkeeper believe it is crucial the North-East club also keep their current team together.
"Let's stay up and hang on to the quality players," Harper said in The Mirror.
"It is not just adding good players and good people. It is about hanging on to the likes of Jose Enrique, Joey Barton, Cheik Tiote - who has just got a long new deal - Kevin Nolan, people like that who've been key figures in and around the club."
"Hang on to the people who have kept us here and then add three, four, five players in key areas to kick on."
The sale of star man Carroll has prompted questions over the Magpies' ambition, but Harper feels it could turn out to be a shrewd move on the club's part.
"The fact of life in football is that every player is for sale," he said. "Messi, Xavi, Ronaldo, every player has a price.
"Andy was going to be missing a few weeks with injury. I am sure it will prove fantastic business when the money is spent by us in the summer, provided we stay up.
"We could add four top quality players with it. In key areas. People may look back and say what good business it was for everyone. I hope so."
Long-serving veteran Harper, who has been on Tyneside for 18 years, feels winning their next two games would give Newcastle a huge lift towards top-flight survival this term.
"The first target, the minimum we wanted, was 17th," he said. "A couple of wins now and, while we won't be mathematically safe, we will be on the way.
"We can't lose sight of that. Then we can regroup, rebuild and hopefully kick on next season.
He added: "We have to build slowly. The foundations have been put back in place by getting back into this league.
"The next is to stay here. If and when we do that, we get to the summer, look at the squad and strengthen."