Magpie Jak Alnwick hails brotherly guidance from ex-Sunderland star Ben

Jak Alnwick
Jak Alnwick
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KEEPER Jak Alnwick says he is ready for his big chance at Newcastle United – thanks to his brother, Ben.

Alnwick will be in goal for Saturday’s Premier League trip to face Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium with senior goalkeepers Tim Krul and Rob Elliot sidelined through injury.

The 21-year-old came off the bench to make his debut in last weekend’s dramatic 2-1 win over Premier League leaders Chelsea.

And Hexham-born Alnwick feels he is ready for a run in the Magpies’ team, having previously played on loan for Gateshead.

Ben, like his younger sibling, started his career at Sunderland and went on to join Tottenham.

And Jak says the guidance he has had from the 27-year-old, now at League One club Peterborough United, has been invaluable to him in his fledgling career.

“My brother’s been around a lot,” Alnwick said.

“He’s always said to me ‘be ready’, because when you’re at your lowest, you can get a chance.

“A couple of weeks ago, I was number three goalkeeper and nowhere near the team, and a couple of weeks later I’m coming on against Chelsea!

“He’s always got words of advice for me.

“I’ve looked up to him all my life. He made sure I was ready for games like this.”

Alnwick won praised from Newcastle manager Alan Pardew for his performance against previously-unbeaten Chelsea.

He came on for the second half after Elliot – who is not expected to return to fitness until the New Year – aggravated a thigh strain in taking a goal kick.

And Alnwick, having got the better of former Atletico Madrid star Diego Costa, is no fazed by the prospect of taking on Arsenal.

“I’m just going to prepare myself and take every game as it comes,” said Alnwick. “I’ll be confident for the next game against Arsenal, and I’ll be prepared for it.

“You’ve got to prepare exactly the same as you would normally. It’s Arsenal, and it’s just another game for me.

“I’ve just got to go there and do exactly what I did (against Chelsea).

“It’s going to be a tough game – we know that – but if we stick together as a team again we should be able to get a result.”

Twitter @milesstarforth