Harper ready for home derby
Newcastle keeper Steve Harper is relishing the chance to play in a home derby against Sunderland.
Last Updated: 17/04/08 3:40pm
Newcastle United goalkeeper Steve Harper is relishing the chance to play in a home derby against Sunderland.
Harper will start Sunday's local battle at St James' Park due to the continued absence of regular No.1 Shay Given.
Despite his long service for the Magpies, Harper has yet to face Sunderland on home soil and is looking forward to this weekend's encounter.
"It will be my first derby with Sunderland at St James' Park," said Harper.
"I have played twice at the Stadium of Light and we have drawn both of those games.
"It will certainly be different to those two games. I have played in front of 48,000 of their fans, and it will be different on Sunday when there are 52,000 Geordies screaming us on.
"It was great to be part of it at the Stadium of Light, and it will be the same on Sunday."
After embarking on a five-match unbeaten run, Harper also revealed that confidence is high within the Newcastle camp.
He added: "I don't think you can fail to know what it means when you live in a city like Newcastle.
"It lives and breathes football, and you have seen in the last month what a difference it has made around the city.
"The doom and gloom that was hanging over the city has gone and the place is bouncing again now.
"It's a big high-pressure game, but we are going into it with a lot of confidence."