Tim Krul is looking to return to Newcastle United in the summer – and prove himself to Rafa Benitez.
The goalkeeper is on a half-season loan at AZ Alkmaar in his native Holland.
And the experienced Krul is enjoying playing week in, week out after recovering from the serious knee injury which saw him miss more than a year of football.
The 28-year-old – who has another year left on his contract at St James’s Park – is focused on Alkmaar’s remaining fixtures.
The Holland international – whose penalty save put AZ into the Dutch Cup final – will then return to Newcastle to see where he fits into Benitez’s plans ahead of what Krul hopes will be a Premier League campaign.
“At the moment I’ve got eight league games left and the cup final,” said Krul, who has closely followed United’s fortunes in the Championship.
“I’m playing week in, week out and showing that I’m getting fit and getting back to my best.
“I’m feeling much, much better, and I’m starting to make the saves I used to make again.
“It’s so nice. With an injury like that, you’re going to have doubts here and there. Is your body going to be all right? Luckily, I’ve got to that stage now.
“I’ve got eight league games left then a cup final. Then, obviously, I’ve got a year left at Newcastle.
“That puts me in a good position for the manager to look at me and where I’m at in his plans.”
United manager Benitez and his staff and have been in contact with Krul, who spent the first half of the campaign at Ajax.
“The gaffer and the staff are watching all my games,” said Krul, who ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament playing for Holland in October 2015. “They’re in touch once in a while.
“For me, it’s about showing that I’m back fit and back firing, and then, hopefully, Newcastle will be back in the Premier League as well.
“I’m just excited for the next few months, really.”