KEEPER Jak Alnwick is ready to put his nightmare in North London behind him – and help Newcastle United to a derby win, writes MILES STARFORTH.
Alnwick is fit to face Sunderland tomorrow (1.30pm kick-off) after recovering from a shoulder injury suffered in Wednesday night’s 4-0 Capital One Cup quarter-final defeat away to Tottenham Hotspur.
A mistake from the 21-year-old, the Magpies’ third-choice goalkeeper, led to Tottenham’s opening goal at White Hart Lane.
Alnwick had also been in goal for last Saturday’s 4-1 Premier League defeat to Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew, without injured senior goalkeepers Tim Krul and Rob Elliot, has spoken to Alnwick – who started his career at Sunderland – to assess his mood ahead of the game.
“I think it’s important to talk to players, particularly young players, and I would have been speaking to Jak whether he had made the mistake or not,” said Pardew. “So, for sure, yes, I’ll be talking to him.
Newcastle would have gone to the Premier League to ask for dispensation to sign a goalkeeper on an emergency loan had Alnwick’s injury proved more serious.
“We haven’t had to contact the Premier League because Jak was fine. There was a slight problem with his shoulder, but he thinks it’s fine and the medical team will monitor him. Hopefully, he’ll be OK.”
On Alnwick’s error, he added: “I think he will deal with it – I think he’s a strong enough character to do that.”