Karl Darlow says he’s ready to deal with everything the Championship throws at him – after a bruising return to the Newcastle United starting XI.
The ex-Nottingham Forest goalkeeper has won all six league games since being recalled to replace Matz Sels between the posts in late September.
Rafa Benitez’s side lead the division by three points ahead of tomorrow’s home game against lowly Cardiff City.
“I am feeling confident right now,” said Darlow.
“Since I’ve come into the team, we’ve won six on the bounce in the league, and you can’t ask for any more than that really.
“It’s just been nice to be playing and be involved in this run that we’re on. Hopefully, we can continue that too.”
Darlow, 26, says the physicality of the division has not been a problem.
“As a goalkeeper who’s played in the Championship before, you’re used to getting battered and hit around,” he said.
“It’s nice to feel it sometimes, because then you know you’ve been in a game the next day.
“I’m not too bothered about that at all – I’m sure I’ll lay a fair bit of muscle on opposition players.”
Winger Matt Ritchie is suspended for tomorrow, after picking up his fifth booking of the season for a late tackle in last week’s 2-1 win at Preston.
“I’m still fuming, to be honest,” said Ritchie, who is in the Scotland squad to face England next Friday night.
“A couple of my yellow cards have been silly. I didn’t think the one on Saturday was a yellow card, sometimes they’re given, somethings not.
“But I’m sure the lads will put in a good performance. We’ve worked hard this week.
“It’s a massive game and we need to make sure we continue the run that we’re on. As long as the mentality stays the same, I think we’ll be fine.”