NEWCASTLE United goalkeeper Tim Krul has told of his frustration after watching the Magpies’ season unravel from the stands.
Newcastle were fifth in the Premier League when Krul suffered an ankle injury in late November, amid hopes on Tyneside that the club could maintain a challenge for a European place.
But the campaign has a very different feel about it now, with Newcastle 10th in the league and out of both domestic cups.
“It’s been hugely frustrating – I’m not a good spectator at all,” Krul said.
“There were a lot of games over the Christmas period. It wasn’t enjoyable to watch them at all, but it happens.
“Unfortunately, injuries happen, and for me, it’s just unfortunate that it happened at the busiest period of the year.
“I missed a lot of football and some massive games.”
Second-choice Rob Elliot suffered a thigh injury early last month, and then-manager Alan Pardew turned to 21-year-old Jak Alnwick with both his senior goalkeepers sidelined.
“Jak stepped in and had some really difficult games to deal with,” said 26-year-old Krul.
“In my opinion, he did well. He’s obviously a young goalkeeper, and the experience will be massive for him.”
For his part, Krul – who was away with Holland for the World Cup finals last summer – feels refreshed – and “ready to rumble”.
“On a personal note, I’ve recharged my batteries again,” said Krul.
“It’s not nice to be injured, but it’s a nice feeling to have been reminded how much I miss it.
“My batteries are recharged for the second half of the season, and I’m just looking forward to the next 17 games now.
“Because of the World Cup I hadn’t really had a break for the best part of two years.
“You never want to be injured, but it was nice to step away, be with the family and get a bit of a different perspective on things.
“It made me appreciate how much I enjoy all of this, and allowed me to make sure my body was fine. I was able to recover properly, and I feel really ready to rumble now for the second half of the season.”
It is unclear who will be in charge of the team for the second half of the campaign after Pardew’s departure.
For the moment, assistant manager John Carver is in charge of team affairs.
Krul admits it has been a “strange” few weeks at St James’s Park.
“I’ve been around the training ground for the last few weeks, so I feel as though I’ve been part of everything that’s been happening,” he said.
“It’s strange to lose your manager, but things happen like that.”