TIM Krul dreamed of winning the FA Cup as a youngster growing up in Holland.
The goalkeeper’s looking he can turn that dream into reality with Newcastle United.
Krul and his team-mates take on Brighton and Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium tomorrow evening.
At stake is a place in the competition’s fifth round, and Krul’s desperate to give the club’s fans – who have sold out their 2,500-ticket allocation – a cup run this season.
“I think the FA Cup’s (watched) all over the world,” Krul said.
“I think it’s the best cup out there, especially for the fans. They love it as well. We’ve sold out the away end again, and that shows you the fans love the FA Cup.”
Manager Alan Pardew took his team to Tenerife for a mid-season break after last weekend’s 5-2 defeat to Fulham at Craven Cottage.
After a few days of rest, and reflection, Krul says Newcastle are ready to put that disappointing result behind them, and launch a twin assault on the Premier League and FA Cup.
“It was perfect timing to get the lads together again,” added Krul.
“It was a fantastic team-bonding trip. It’s an important week. We’d love to stay in the FA Cup, and we’ve got Blackburn and Aston Villa.
“It’s all about a reaction from last weekend. Everybody’s up for it, and willing to show that was a one-off. We have to get back to a winning streak.”
Pardew’s staff have this week been familiarising United’s players with Gus Poyet’s Brighton side, who knocked Sunderland out of the Carling Cup earlier this season.
Krul was in the Newcastle team beaten by Stevenage in last season’s third-round, and he’s adamant there won’t be any complaceny in the visiting dressing room.
“We’ve seen some clips of them,” said Krul. “It’s a nice stadium, and a good pitch, and they’re a footballing team.
“It’s a big game for them – for the fans and the club. Newcastle are coming to their stadium, and we have to make sure we’re up for it.
“They’ll be up for it, and if you take your feet off the gas, you’ll get found out.”
Hatem Ben Arfa has recovered from a bout of sickness – and will be fit to take on Brighton and Hove Albion.
Ben Arfa was allowed to return home to France while his team-mates enjoyed a mid-season break in Tenerfie this week.
The forward was voted the player of last round of the FA Cup for his stunning goal against Blackburn Rovers at the Sports Direct Arena.
Ben Arfa – who scored in last weekend’s 5-2 defeat at Fulham – is expected to again be in Alan Pardew’s starting XI.
Meanwhile, defender Fabricio Coloccini is a doubt for the Brighton game with a “knock”.
“He’s a serious doubt for the game,” said Pardew. “I don’t think it’s an ongoing situation, or a bad situation, but he’ll be touch and go.”