TIM Krul would have been for wanting to ease himself back into the Premier League on his comeback from injury.
No such luck. Not at Manchester City.
The goalkeeper won’t have had too many busier nights in his career.
Inside the first four minutes, Krul - making his first league appearance since dislocated his shoulder in April - denied Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko.
But he couldn’t stop David Silva’s sixth-minute opening goal.
Krul’s performance was one of the few positives to take from Newcastle’s 4-0 defeat on Monday night.
And the 25-year-old will need to be at his best again tomorrow, when West Ham United - and former Newcastle captain Kevin Nolan - arrive at St James’s Park.
“On a personal level I’m glad I’m back - it’s been a few months - and I can take a lot of confidence out of the game for myself,” Krul said. “I’ve been working hard over the summer.
“But from a team point of view, it was never going to be easy. City are a top, top team - £100m has been invested in players.
“You’ve always got little doubts in your own head, and Monday took everything away. In the first four minutes I got those doubts out of my head - I was tested on my shoulder straight away.
“I was really, really happy with that. I’m back now, and hopefully I can play the remaining 37 Premier League games, like I did two years ago.”
Sam Allardyce’s West Ham won 1-0 at St James’s Park last season. The scorer? Nolan, of course.
Nolan, such an influential figure in the club’s revival, will again be looking to make a nuisance of himself in the box, as he did so many times in a black and white shirt.
Krul said: “They sneaked it last year - it was a typical Nolan goal!
“I know Kev. I’ve known him for a few years, and I’ve trained with him. I know what he does. I’m ready for him. He scored last year, and we have to make sure that doesn’t happen this Saturday.
“Last year we just couldn’t score, and they sneaked one goal.
“It’s always a tight game against Sam Allardyce’s teams - they’re 1-0 or 1-1. It’ll be a hard game, but it’s a good chance for us. The fans will be there for us.”
Former Newcastle striker Andy Carroll - who has an ankle injury - won’t be involved.
“Andy’s a physical presence, and they’re a physical team anyway,” added Krul. “With him out of the team, that definitely helps us a bit.”
The West Ham is followed by another home league fixture - Fulham visit Tyneside on August 31 - and Krul is targeting six points from the two matches.
“We have to be ready,” he said. “We know what they’re about. Sam Allardyce sets his teams up a certain way, and we’ve been training on that.
“We should be ready, and really our season starts on Saturday. A lot of people told me it was a good time to play Man City, but I never agreed with that with the players they signed.
“Really, West Ham and Fulham are the games we’re looking at. They’re the teams around us, and we have to beat them.”
A crowd of more than 50,000 is expected at St James’s Park, and Krul is hoping Newcastle’s fans can put their frustrations over the City defeat, and the club’s lack of signings, to one side for 90 minutes.
“We need them massively, especially now,” added Krul. “Of course people are disappointed - they’re allowed to be disappointed.
“We need them to be on our side when the game is on. We really need them on our side.
“On the other side, we need to give them something to cheer about as well for them to be behind us.”