Ex-Newcastle keeper Steve Harper not replacing Tim Krul

Tim Krul, Steve Harper and Shay Given during a Newcastle United training session in 2008
Image: Tim Krul, Steve Harper and Shay Given during a Newcastle United training session in 2008

Former Newcastle goalkeeper Steve Harper has backed ex-team-mate Tim Krul to make a full recovery from injury but said he will not be re-joining the club as a replacement.

Krul flew back to Newcastle earlier today and will meet the club's medical staff after he was ruled out for the rest of the season with a cruciate knee ligament injury sustained on international duty.

The 27-year-old picked up the injury while playing for the Netherlands in their European Championship qualifying win in Kazakhstan after landing awkwardly on the artificial surface.

Harper, who was with Newcastle from 1993 until 2013, told Sky Sports News HQ: "It is an awful injury - people say that breaks are better than cruciate injuries and he has got to write-off the rest of the season and concentrate on getting himself right.

Steve Harper of Hull City celebrates as Michael Dawson scores their first goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Hull City and Liverpool
Image: Steve Harper left Hull City in the summer

"He has had one or two injuries recently as well so just when he was looking forward to getting back to top form it has come at an awful time.

"He won't be a good patient, knowing him. He'll be like a bear with a sore head in and around the training ground and medical room but I wish him a speedy and full recovery."

Harper, 40, is currently without a club after leaving Hull City in the summer and is keeping himself fit as he looks to continue his playing career.

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Tim Krul was substituted towards the end of the Netherlands' 2-1 win in Kazakhstan
Image: Tim Krul was substituted towards the end of the Netherlands' 2-1 win in Kazakhstan

However, he said that will not be happening at St James' Park.

"I'm keeping myself fit but it is irrelevant sadly as they have a 25-man squad which they can't add to but I've had a load of phone calls over the summer," he said.

"I played the last seven games of the season and I enjoyed last year. I kept four clean sheets in nine Premier League games, not bad for an old man.

New Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce says he's ready for the challenge of keeping The Black Cats in the Premier League.

"But we'll see; I've had a million phone calls from all sorts of agents asking me about this, that and the other. It was Denmark last week and a couple of calls more recently.

"I'll keep ticking over, obviously you can't go on forever but if something does come up which ticks all the boxes then I'd certainly jump at the opportunity."

Meanwhile, Harper has backed Sunderland's decision to hire his old boss Sam Allardyce and believes it is a "cracking appointment".

Harper played under Allardyce at Newcastle and thinks he is the best man to keep the Black Cats up.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 21:  Sam Allardyce the West Ham manager looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between West Ham United and Sunderland at
Image: Sam Allardyce is the new Sunderland manager

"He will certainly make big changes in and around the place, he did that at Newcastle," Harper said.

"He will give the players exposure to all areas, not just on the pitch, off the pitch to get the best out of themselves.

"He'll organise them, they will be well drilled, they'll be a threat from set pieces and what he will do is give them a platform to get the results and, by having that well organised platform, give them the opportunity to go out and play from there.

"I think it is a cracking appointment."

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